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Lyr Req: Mrs Stein Don't Rent to Gypsies Any More

MythHunter 17 Aug 00 - 11:38 AM
Jed at Work 17 Aug 00 - 12:13 PM
MAG (inactive) 17 Aug 00 - 01:21 PM
InOBU 17 Aug 00 - 06:04 PM
InOBU 17 Aug 00 - 06:09 PM
Joe Offer 17 Aug 00 - 06:11 PM
Branwen23 17 Aug 00 - 07:00 PM
Barbara 17 Aug 00 - 07:08 PM
MAG (inactive) 17 Aug 00 - 07:45 PM
InOBU 17 Aug 00 - 10:47 PM
MythHunter 18 Aug 00 - 02:12 AM
Joe Offer 18 Aug 00 - 03:20 AM
InOBU 18 Aug 00 - 07:56 AM
GUEST,Roger the skiffler 18 Aug 00 - 08:27 AM
Wolfgang 18 Aug 00 - 09:12 AM
MythHunter 18 Aug 00 - 09:37 AM
InOBU 18 Aug 00 - 10:03 AM
death by whisky 18 Aug 00 - 10:17 AM
Áine 18 Aug 00 - 10:28 AM
Wolfgang 18 Aug 00 - 10:29 AM
death by whisky 18 Aug 00 - 10:56 AM
InOBU 18 Aug 00 - 12:47 PM
Brendy 18 Aug 00 - 09:57 PM
Joe Offer 19 Aug 00 - 03:38 AM
Branwen23 19 Aug 00 - 03:10 PM
Brendy 19 Aug 00 - 04:33 PM
Snuffy 19 Aug 00 - 05:05 PM
Brendy 19 Aug 00 - 05:07 PM
Branwen23 19 Aug 00 - 05:35 PM
Áine 19 Aug 00 - 06:20 PM
InOBU 19 Aug 00 - 06:24 PM
IvanB 19 Aug 00 - 08:23 PM
Branwen23 19 Aug 00 - 09:49 PM
Brendy 19 Aug 00 - 11:22 PM
InOBU 20 Aug 00 - 12:05 AM
Branwen23 20 Aug 00 - 10:08 AM
ol'troll 20 Aug 00 - 11:40 AM
GUEST,branwen23 20 Aug 00 - 03:12 PM
Brendy 20 Aug 00 - 03:26 PM
Áine 20 Aug 00 - 03:32 PM
JedMarum 20 Aug 00 - 09:49 PM
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JedMarum 20 Aug 00 - 10:20 PM
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Brendy 20 Aug 00 - 11:11 PM
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The Beanster 18 Sep 00 - 02:41 AM
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SINSULL 18 Sep 00 - 08:49 AM
dick greenhaus 18 Sep 00 - 09:00 AM
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Bert 18 Sep 00 - 04:57 PM
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Jeri 18 Sep 00 - 10:04 PM
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Subject: dosen't rent to gypsys
From: MythHunter
Date: 17 Aug 00 - 11:38 AM

Mrs. Stein(? I think) doesn't rent to gypsys anymore because they trashed her house and I think even carried it off in pieces.

It has been at least six years since I heard this song at a convention by an artist I had never heard of before or since. The song keeps coming back to haunt me.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: Jed at Work
Date: 17 Aug 00 - 12:13 PM

MythHunter -

The Blarney Brothers do a great job with this song, and I'm sure you'd get a response from the email addr they post at their website. I've have the good fortune of sharing the bill with these guys from time-to-time and they are real crowd pleasers! You might consider stopping by their site and dropping them an Email.

As far as lyrics, I don't know 'em, so I can't help you ... but it is a great song!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: MAG (inactive)
Date: 17 Aug 00 - 01:21 PM

Alan Dameron used to do this, if you can find his recordings.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: InOBU
Date: 17 Aug 00 - 06:04 PM

Dear fellow mudcatters:
What next, the Horst Wessel song? How about - don't rent to Blacks - Puerto Ricans - Jews... is there a point at which your sence of right and wrong kicks in? After ten centuries of forced migration, have we not had enough prejudice for one people? Let's cut the anti Roma crap.
Larry


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: InOBU
Date: 17 Aug 00 - 06:09 PM

PS
If you want a good song about "Gypsies" How about Ewan MacColl's song - I think it is called the Moving On Song, and if anyone has the lyrics, I would appreciate them posting them below. It is the one with the courus move along get along SHIFT!
Nyes Tuka
Larry


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Subject: Mrs. Stein Doesn't Rent to Gypsies
From: Joe Offer
Date: 17 Aug 00 - 06:11 PM

I haven't heard the song, Larry, but I'm wondering if it might be a humorous attack against prejudice, and not an attack against gypsies at all.
Click here for MacColl's powerful "Moving On Song." If you search the database for @gypsy (or click here), you'll find others.
But heck, let's not judge the Mrs. Stein song until we've seen the lyrics. I e-mailed the Blarney Brothers and maybe they'll respond.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: Branwen23
Date: 17 Aug 00 - 07:00 PM

The Blarney Brothers are at Milwaukee ren faire this week, so they probably aren't answering their email... But I'm sure I can get the lyrics for you when they return.

-Branwen-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: Barbara
Date: 17 Aug 00 - 07:08 PM

Joe, I've heard the song -- Peter Krug sings it -- and perhaps it's a song about prejudice, but to me it always seemed more of a song about a culture clash.
I gotta say, I like it.
Part of the humor of it, is that it has a very lively gypsy melody. Each verse ends with a line about the hardwood floor, like:
"And they're throwing on the bonfires...are those slabs of hardwood floor?
Mrs. Stein don't rent to gypsies anymore, hey!"

The plot of it is nominally that Mrs. Stein goes off on a six month cruise after hiring a couple of gypsy brothers to caretake her mansion while she's away.
Blessings,
Barbara


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: MAG (inactive)
Date: 17 Aug 00 - 07:45 PM

I would second the culture clash theory. Satire on prejudice, I'm afraid it's not.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: InOBU
Date: 17 Aug 00 - 10:47 PM

Would it be a culture class to decide not to rent to any other ethnic group? I for one would not even judge a gloc by that standard, and they have chased my mother's folks around for a thousand years!
Larry


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: MythHunter
Date: 18 Aug 00 - 02:12 AM

Thanks to those who gave useful information. I am sorry to have offend you InOBU. Are you having a bad day?

Once I get the lyrics I shall write a version just for you; _Ms.Roma doesn't rent to white folk anymore_.

I am not trying to be more insulting or insenseative to anyones race I just think that taking offence to a simple lyric request is a over reaction. I might have been loking for the lyrics to do a paper on how the Roma are discriminated against in song for all you know.

Shall we take the songs that offend others out of here as well? _Pretty Polly_, maybe? I mean - domestic violence should not be sung about- someone might get the wrong idea about men.

Or any of the black jack/gypsy davy songs full of stereo types obviously not ligit folk music at all....

Or _Senor Don Gato_ full of stereo types about cats and the accent that most singers put on it is degrading to anyone whose first language was Spanish.

a very tired myth hunter


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Subject: Mrs. Stein Doesn't Rent to Gypsies
From: Joe Offer
Date: 18 Aug 00 - 03:20 AM

Larry, have you seen the lyrics?
If not, shut up until you have.
You are trying to argue from a point of ignorance, and ignorance begets prejudice. Most of us here would prefer to do away with prejudice by use of understanding, kindness, tolerance, and perhaps a light touch of humor - especially the ability to laugh at ourselves.
Besides, you're embarrassing your mother. Stop to think and listen for a moment, and make her proud of you.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: InOBU
Date: 18 Aug 00 - 07:56 AM

Dear Joe:
My mother's grandfather was born into slavery. His wife and he were bought and sold for the crime of their skintone. He sent both his sons to College when he came to America (though Mom remembers him as a blind and nasty cuss). My mother, the grandaughter of slaves became an executive and though she keeps vestigages of her traditions in the form of household coustoms she hid her ethnicity for fear of the sentiment in such songs like - don't rent to Gypsies. I stood up the New York City Council and addressed the issue of three hundred years of discrimination in the United States and almost a thousand years of discrimination in 41 nations. Joe, you and I have generally agreed on how disscussions take place, but please don't presume to tell me how to make my mother proud. The embarassment of the world's Roma is usualy expressed by silence. When you say shut up till you hear the words, when I hear that the song is about not renting to Gypsies because some Gypsies trashed her house, that says it all to me.
I was not served at John B. Keane's pub in Listowl - he took me for a Pavee because I spent most of my time in Listowl with Travellers. Because of my mixed heritage, I look like my cousins, Ireland's Pavees. I thanked him because I was unaware at the time that he was famous for his prejudice against Roma. I didn't want to suport an buisiness which discriminates.
Anti-Gypsy prejudice is the last socially acceptable prejudice. Did I have a bad day? How many days are there in one thousand years. In Scotland our men were hanged and our women and children drowned. In Auswtitz-Bergan Belsen our families were gassed and burned, At Lette in the Czech Republic, we were shot. Today scores of us are murdered in the Czech Republic and the average sentince, when there is a trial is four to six months for disorderly conduct while the power companies turn off the electricity to throw the homes of Roma into blackness before the skin head Czech mobs come to kill and burn us out. In eastern Europe a Roma girl, thriteen years old is stabbed seventeen times by her classmates while they chant dirty Gypsy. 200,000 Roma are targeted by Albainians and Serbs in Kosovo, while being denied aid by the UN, and denied asylum in the camps in Hungery, in Italy in every nation but Macidonia where some are let into the camps and they are set apon by Albanian mobs, who attempt to tear a 12 year old child limb from limb. In Rumanina, a short time after the counter revolution, the Catholic church in one town, held a mass to bless thouse where were going out to burn down the Gypsy quarter. In this land of freedom, the United States, only 15 years ago, in South Carolina, Bates and Leesville counties pass and still enforce a statute which reads in clear and unambiguos language - Gypsies are not allowed in the county. No dear friends, it has not been a good day, and Mythmaker, my friend, when you say it is a good song, I strongly doubt you are writing a paper about the discrimination and genocide which has colored every day of our peoples forced migration. Don't rent to Gypsies - Gypsies are not permitted in the County - Murder of Rom is Disorderly Conduct - No dogs or Gypos allowed in the pub, Get along, move along, SHIFT.
Amay ROMA, ROMA OPRE, and pround
Larry


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: GUEST,Roger the skiffler
Date: 18 Aug 00 - 08:27 AM

I don't know this song, but if it has merit apart from the racial stereotyping it might work by substituting "Mrs Stein doesn't rent to students".
Perhaps I've spent too long working in academe!
Judging by recent tv series "interior designers" do as much damage but that wouldn't scan.
Just trying to help
RtS


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: Wolfgang
Date: 18 Aug 00 - 09:12 AM

InOBU,
just a minor detail, you write:
"Mythmaker, my friend, when you say it is a good song, I strongly doubt you are writing a paper about the discrimination and genocide".
MythHunter, as the correct name is, hasn't said that, Jed has.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: MythHunter
Date: 18 Aug 00 - 09:37 AM

Acctally I never said it was a good song I said it has been coming back to haunt me. I have only heard it the one time and if it is that memorable a song I want to hear it again or at least read the lyrics regaurdless of its meaning.

If the song was that powerful for me to remeber it and it does turn out to have that horrible a bias then perhaps a rewrite with less offensive lyrics/names is in order. Maybe even turn the song around and have Gypsys not rent to Germans anymore. I do like the idea of doesn't rent to students.

All I know for sure was that it was a funny funny song and *I* personally took no idea that actual people of an nationality/race would act like the characters away from my one hearing.

Myth HUNTER


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: InOBU
Date: 18 Aug 00 - 10:03 AM

Wolfgang and MythHUNTER - Thanks for the correction. No offence meant, a word shifted in the scrolling up and down the page. Funny songs and satire is often the most damaging weapon of prejudice. When one laughs at the "Gypsy" hijinks one can ignore that in the United States, where there is potentialy a population of one million uncounted Roma, estimates are that 90% are functionaly illiterate. While we laugh, the only governmental program is racial profiling by the police, carried out openly from the local sherrif to FBI, and the rest is silence and apathy. The New York Times pole on the subject found Roma (Gypsies) to be the most discriminated against population in the United States by all indicators of social deprivation.
Born in the middle of the afternoon
In a horse drawn waggon on the old A5
The big twelve wheelers shook my bed,
You can't stay here the policeman said
You better get born somepalce else... Larry


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: death by whisky
Date: 18 Aug 00 - 10:17 AM

I don't find anything funny about the lyrics in this song.It offends by stereotyping a minority,and can only serve to reinforce the divisions between the traveller and settled communities.


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Subject: Lyr Add: MOVING ON SONG (Ewan MacColl,Peggy Seeger
From: Áine
Date: 18 Aug 00 - 10:28 AM

Dear MythHunter and my fellow Mudcatters,

First, I want to thank MythHunter for requesting the lyrics to this song. This request (and the subsequent discussion) has provided the impetus for me to do something that I never thought I would do. That is, to finally admit something about my family that has been denied and hidden my entire life. I am descended from Irish travellers, or the Pavees, through my father. Although his grandfather had 'settled', and no longer travelled, he still felt the pain of discrimination. This resulted in a division of the family which still exists today.

Ignorance and prejudice against the travelling people has also affected me personally. For a time when I was very young, my mother separated from my father and, along with my half-sister and myself, went to live with her parents in Louisiana. I can still hear the whispered remarks from my grandmother and aunts about 'the gypsy's child' and the cruel things said about my father's family.

After a few weeks, a group of local men, with a penchant for wearing white sheets and burning things, 'suggested' to my mother that I shouldn't be living in town with 'decent' people. That night, I was taken to live on a relative's farm, where I would not see my mother or sister for a year. When my mother finally came to fetch me, I ran away from her because I didn't know who she was anymore.

I have heard this song, performed by the Blarney Brothers, in a bar in Dallas. My husband and I had gone to see them perform because we had been told that they were a good band. And they are talented musicians, and they sing many good songs. However, this song is a different matter. I remember vividly the feeling of being slapped in the face as I listened to it, and the pain in my heart as the band played it with gusto and the audience roared with its laughter.

I don't believe that the Blarney Brothers, or the folks on this forum who think this is just a harmless, funny song are bad people. I believe that it is only ignorance and denial of the Roma and/or Pavees that keep these types of songs, and the stereotypes they portray, alive. That is why I've stepped forward to join my brother, InOBU, to decry these songs and the attitudes and prejudices behind them. I have let him speak alone too long, and now, with his help and support, I have the confidence to join him. Go raibh céad míle maith agat, mo dheartháir.

Music and song are the most basic of human communications. A song can be funny without being slanderous or full of bigotry. Let us not use our songs to denigrate other humans, but to lift each other up. Below are the words to the song that InOBU mentioned in a post above. Please, listen and learn:

MOVING ON SONG
(Ewan MacColl and Peggy Seeger)

Born in the middle of an afternoon
In a horse-drawn wagon on the old A5
The big twelve wheeler shook my bed
You can't stop here the policeman said
You better get born someplace else

So move along, get along, move along, get along,
Go, move, shift

Born in the tatie lifting time
In an old bow tent in a tatie field
The farmer said, The work's all done
It's time that you were moving on

So move along, get along, move along, get along,
Go, move, shift

Born in a wagon on a building site
Where the ground was rutted by the trailer's wheels
The local people said to me,
You'll lower the price of property

So move along, get along, move along, get along,
Go, move, shift

Born at the back of a blackthorn hedge
When the white hoarfrost lay all around
No wise men came bearing gifts
Instead the order came to shift

So move along, get along, move along, get along,
Go, move, shift

The winter sky was hung with stars
And one shone brighter than the rest
The wise men came so stern and strict
And brought the order to evict

So move along, get along, move along, get along,
Go, move, shift

Wagon, tent, or trailer born
Last week, last year, or in far off days
Born here or a thousand miles away
There's always men nearby who'll say

So move along, get along, move along, get along,
Go, move, shift


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: Wolfgang
Date: 18 Aug 00 - 10:29 AM

I must say when I saw the thread title my first gut thought before opening the thread was in my slightly more moderate way similar to Larry's. But when I saw the wording of the request and Jed's first response I lost any prejudices and I'm now just very curious to read the lyrics and hope someone finds them.

However, Larry's contribution reminds me that even a well meaning song (e.g., making fun of a prejudice by overstating it) can be misused. Think of Eric Bogle's
I hate wogs
they live like dogs,
some eat bananas
and some eat frogs...
The best intent he had in writing this song and later (I heard that and would like to know if that's right) he stopped singing it for right wing groups were singing this song without any tongue in cheek. Songs can be misused (the Nazis did sing some good workers songs with very slightly changed lyrics) and misunderstood and perhaps the requested song falls in that category, but perhaps not. But these are actually thoughts for another thread which I might start (or not).

As for now, let's stop further judgement as Joe has written in his first post until we have the lyrics to this song.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: death by whisky
Date: 18 Aug 00 - 10:56 AM

The first line was enough for me,from Aines post it sounds like its not going to get any better.

The words could be posted to MythHunters personal.

"slapped in the face"..."pain in my heart".Lets not repeat that here.Please.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: InOBU
Date: 18 Aug 00 - 12:47 PM

Áine: A dear friend of mine, a marine carpenter and blacksmith from western England once told me a story. He remembers when the roads of England where lined seasonaly with horse drawn Wardos (or Voodrons), and then, when he was a teenager, those long lines of Kompania declined. He had gotten his first motorcycle and was terring across the country side when he came to a dirt road rutted with cart wheals. "Larry... I knew just what I would find at the end of that lane, and sure enough, I followed it down and found a ring a wagons, with Gypsies sitting around a fire cooking their meal. I waved and turned and left them to their meal. It was their time, not mine."
Áine, their company is yours in a way that Country People, Gadjeh, or Golcs can never understand. You and I breath the air because of the crime of survival our ansestors committed in the face of laws which outlawed our blood in every land into which we were driven. "There is a bilaw to say we mun be on our way, and another to say we can't wander..." Ours is a brotherhood and sistership of the victory of survival. Our pride is pride in the face of hatred and insult - and there is little more valuable than that. When they look down their nose at us, remember, Paddy Kennan, Finbar and Eddie Furry, Johnny McDonnagh, and so many others the Country Folks toady up to after concerts, well, only you and I can call em shem.
My dee kos amay, Sister
Your Prala and Shem,
Larry


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: Brendy
Date: 18 Aug 00 - 09:57 PM

Maith a bhean, a hÁine. Bhí sin go h-an dheacair, tá fhoís agam. Comhgairdeas leat, agus go raibh míle maith agat fréisin.

And I also think Joe should hear the lyrics before he tells anybody else to reserve judgement.

Sorry MythHunter, you wont get the lyrics from me, I'm afraid. I know the song of which you speak, and it comes from the same pigsty that so elequently advertised on their sitting room windows - 'No Blacks, No Irish, No Dogs'.

I was fortunate to be sitting in a pub not far from the one Larry was talking about with the 'King' of the Kerry Travellers, one night, when one of the local 'musicians' appeared to do his turn.
On his arrival at the bar, where we were sitting - talking about Elizabeth Cronin, I do believe, he shouted across to the barman:
"I see I'm playing to a crowd of northern bastards and tinkers tonight."

I was livid, considering that he knew nothing whatsoever about this man; who he was, what he had seen, his depth of knowledge and understanding.
I was also moved by the noble way he handled it; he was used to such insults.

As for the song - culture clash?
As in 'a slightly different way of looking at things'?

Yeah, right.

A little knowledge is a dangerous thing. But as death by whisky pointed out, this book you can tell by it's cover.

I'm sure our resident 'collector of all treasures' would only jump at the opportunity to assist you on this one, MythHunter, being, as he is, most helpful in situations like this.

The two of you could then go off mythhunting together.
But watch out for Wolfgang, who will be there to check your spelling and syntax at every turn.

Unless, of course, he happens to sympathise with you.
In which case, he wont.

As he didn't.

B.


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Subject: Lyr Req: doesn't rent to gypsies
From: Joe Offer
Date: 19 Aug 00 - 03:38 AM

Still, I'd like to see the lyrics. I sympathize with Larry's goals completely, but his attacking the song without having heard it is very troublesome to me. I abhor prejudice - but I also abhor the idea of fighting prejudice with prejudice.
Áine's response was rational and convincing, I'll grant that. Still, the thought of a song about one minority (a Jewish woman) clashing with another minority is intriguing, and makes me want to hear it for myself and make my own judgment. I can imagine an Irish pub band might give a different interpretation from what was originally intended by the song, and might make an attempt at a humorous social commentary into a statement of prejudice.
It really does bother me to see good people rise up passionately to fight against an enemy they don't even know. Several years ago, I saw dozens of well-meaning Christian people picketing a theater that was showing The Last Temptation of Christ - none of them had seen the movie, and neither had their leaders, so nobody really knew what they were protesting against. I'm a Christian, and I saw the movie, and my only complaint is that I thought it was a bit too pious. I see good people who seem to be terrified of homosexuals, and I see other good people label all sorts of tolerant people "homophobic." I see good people fighting all the time - and most of the time, they don't even know or understand what they're fighting against.
There's too damn much name-calling and irrationality in this world. We need to stop, all of us, for a moment and realize that every one of us is a human being, not a demon. Then we need to listen to those we oppose, and try to understand what makes them so.
Once we understand what we're fighting against, then we can do something about it. Otherwise, we're doomed to lose.
I appreciate Larry's passion, and he expresses his position very well. However, his condemnation of a song he hadn't heard is irrational, and makes his entire position look irrational. This thread is a perfect opportunity for us all to learn about the cause of the Roma. Let's keep some logic and some mutual tolerance in our discussion.
I, for one, would like to see the lyrics of this song. I'll make up my mind what I think of it after I've seen it, not before. And yes, Brendy, I still think I'm right in asking others to reserve judgment until they have seen the lyrics. What's the value in arguing from ignorance? If we are to overcome prejudice, we must do it with understanding and with respect for all people, even those we oppose.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: Branwen23
Date: 19 Aug 00 - 03:10 PM

hear, hear.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: Brendy
Date: 19 Aug 00 - 04:33 PM

Well, I know this song (would NEVER sing it), and I did not denounce the song before hearing it. But I certainly would not give it blind acceptance without hearing it either.

But a song, for example, called "XXX doesn't rent to Jews", does not need a brain surgeon to figure out it's derogatory message - 'poking fun' or not.

Remember that one man's fun can be another man's insult.

Having the words may be fine, but in this instance, as many others, the words are not necessary. Áine's testimony is enough for me. The words are available out there, and I'm sure The Blarney Brothers (what a name!!) will only be too happy to oblige..

But it is crap, and I wouldn't grace these pages with the lyrics.

B.


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Subject: Lyr/Tune Add: THIS TOWN IS NOT YOUR OWN (Healy)^^
From: Snuffy
Date: 19 Aug 00 - 05:05 PM

Larry

I hope this one says it better. I couldn't find it in DT or Forum, but it IMHO ought to be there.

THIS TOWN IS NOT YOUR OWN
(Shay Healey Healy)

In a cloud of dust they roam,
Covered wagons down a country road,
Happy people laugh and sing
Or hear the bell of freedom rings awhile
And the countryside is their own.

Now the town it's drawing near
Parent's eyes begin to shift with fear
While their children still play on
Not knowing they can never settle down
And make the town their own.

Round the camp the fires are hot
Hungry children gather round the pot
But some will go to bed tonight
Without a bite of food or heat or light
'Cos the town is not their own.

And at the dawning of the day
People come and tell us "Go away
We don't want you likes here
You bring dirt, disease and to our children fear
Come on, get out, this town's not your own."

So once more we're on the run
Out to face the cruel winter sun
O land of saints and scholars, we
Have lost our precious gift of charity
And don't recognise our own.

Sung by Finbar and Eddie Furey.
The tune is very close to Ian Campbell's "The Sun is Burning In the Sky", but which came first?

MIDI file: TOWNNOT.MID

Timebase: 480

Tempo: 160 (375000 microsec/crotchet)
Key: F
TimeSig: 4/4 48 8
Name: This Town is Not Your Own
Text: C:Shay Healey
Start
0000 1 60 127 0479 0 60 000 0001 1 62 090 0479 0 62 000 0001 1 65 127 1439 0 65 000 0001 1 69 090 0479 0 69 000 0001 1 67 127 1439 0 67 000 0001 1 69 090 0479 0 69 000 0001 1 67 127 2879 0 67 000 0001 1 69 090 0479 0 69 000 0001 1 72 090 0479 0 72 000 0001 1 77 127 0639 0 77 000 0001 1 79 090 0319 0 79 000 0001 1 77 090 0479 0 77 000 0001 1 76 090 0479 0 76 000 0001 1 72 127 1439 0 72 000 0001 1 70 090 0479 0 70 000 0001 1 72 127 2879 0 72 000 0001 1 74 090 0479 0 74 000 0001 1 76 090 0479 0 76 000 0001 1 77 127 0639 0 77 000 0001 1 79 090 0319 0 79 000 0001 1 77 090 0479 0 77 000 0001 1 76 090 0479 0 76 000 0001 1 72 127 1439 0 72 000 0001 1 70 090 0479 0 70 000 0001 1 69 127 0639 0 69 000 0001 1 70 090 0319 0 70 000 0001 1 72 090 0479 0 72 000 0001 1 69 090 0479 0 69 000 0001 1 70 127 0479 0 70 000 0001 1 69 090 0479 0 69 000 0001 1 67 090 0479 0 67 000 0001 1 65 090 0479 0 65 000 0001 1 67 127 2879 0 67 000 0001 1 65 090 0479 0 65 000 0001 1 67 090 0479 0 67 000 0001 1 69 127 1439 0 69 000 0001 1 69 090 0479 0 69 000 0001 1 67 127 0479 0 67 000 0001 1 65 090 0959 0 65 000 0001 1 65 090 0479 0 65 000 0001 1 65 127 1919 0 65 000 0001 1 67 127 0079 0 67 000 0001 1 65 090 0079 0 65 000 0001 1 67 090 0079 0 67 000 0001 1 65 090 0719 0 65 000
End

This program is worth the effort of learning it.

To download the March 10 MIDItext 98 software and get instructions on how to use it click here

ABC format:

X:1
T:This Town is Not Your Own
M:4/4
L:1/4
Q:90
C:Shay Healey
S:Finbar & Eddie Furey
K:F
CD|
F3A|G3A|G4-|G2Ac|
f>gfe|c3B|c4-|c2de|
f>gfe|c3B|A>BcA|BAGF|G4-|G2FG|
A3A|(GF2)F|(F4-|{GFG}F2)||


Wassail! V
^^
Note from Joe Offer (27 May 2013): I have received an e-mail from Shay Healy, confirming that he wrote this song. The true name of the song is "THE TOWN IS NOT THEIR OWN," and it was recorded by Finbar & Eddie Furey, Jim McCann, and The Wolfe Tones. The song was written entirely by Shay Healy, Contact information: Shay Healy, Oisin/ Bardis Music
9 Prince of Wales Terrace,
Ballsbridge,
Dublin 4


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: Brendy
Date: 19 Aug 00 - 05:07 PM

Nice one, Snuffy.
But Ian Campbells tune would be the original, I would think.

B.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: Branwen23
Date: 19 Aug 00 - 05:35 PM

the song is not about a person who doesn't rent to gypsies on the basis that they are gypsies. It's about a person who rents her house to a group of "gypsies" who then proceed to throw parties, trash her house, and use her hardwood flooring as fuel for a bonfire. The fun of the song is the silliness of the situation, it's not about prejudice or ethnic slurs.

-Branwen-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: Áine
Date: 19 Aug 00 - 06:20 PM

Dear Branwen,

I can only pray that your appraisal of this song arises out of ignorance of the way things are out in the real world. Below is an excerpt of an article from CSERVNews and Views, Copyright © 1996, that I found on the Patrin Web Journal, a website dedicated to Romani (Gypsy) culture and history and to extending awareness of the continuous Roma struggle to achieve and maintain dignity and freedom. Please read it, and then, read your last post again. Perhaps then you'll be able to understand why this song is indeed full of ethnic prejudice and racial slurs.

-- Áine

10 February 1997
The news media and law enforcement agencies have caused untold hurt, frustration, and fear among many law abiding Travellers and Gypsies throughout the United States. In a Dateline [NBC television news] program, a child about nine years of age was shown in her white confirmation dress in church. The narrator described her incorrectly as a child bride. A report from Kansas City tells how police entered a Traveller-owned trailer park and threatened the occupant of one trailer with the Rico Act in what appeared to be for no other reason than to intimidate.

In South Carolina law abiding Travellers had their names and driver's license numbers placed on a list of potential criminals, and it was distributed to various law enforcement agencies. In that same state, a town ordinance declares: "Gypsies: Prohibited in County" (License Ordinance 1994 Town of Batesburg Leesville, S.C., p. 18). In Missouri and elsewhere Travellers have reported being off the road and into ditches by police and warned to get out of the area.

While there are Travellers and Gypsies who do commit illegal acts, it is a gross over generalization to include all members of these groups, including the law abiding, as criminal. In their book, License to Steal: Traveling Con Artist: Their Games, Their Rules -- Your Money, Dennis Marlock and John Dowling readily admit that

"Most Gypsies ... have indeed assimilated but without giving up their ethnic identity, their language, or their heritage. They have joined the labor force, own homes, send their sons and daughters to college, vote, pay taxes, and serve in the armed forces."

The authors then proceed to complete their book about Gypsy crimes. The fact is that every ethnic group has its shady personalities, but that does not result in the listing of any and all members of a group as having criminal intent. A Major Rowland who is cited as an "expert" on Traveller criminal activity estimated that less than 10% of the Travellers in his area are engaged in criminal activity.

The lumping of all Travellers and Gypsies into the category of those having criminal intent is understandably a concern for the majority of Travellers and Gypsies throughout the United States. The N.A.A.C.P. would be outraged if all African Americans in a community were classified and listed as potential criminals. The A.D.L. would be screaming our ears off if a local community or state were to warn its citizenry and law enforcement officers to be on the look out for criminal Jews. La Raza would be appalled if a crime alert to citizens stated "Alert: Mexican Thieves on the Prowl." But when it comes to Travellers and Gypsies, even the A.C.L.U. seems to look the other way.

It is obvious that if you are a Traveller or "Gypsy," the media and some law enforcement agencies are doing whatever is necessary to scuttle the American dream for select groups on the flimsy and bigoted notion that all members of the group represent a criminal element in society.

Some law enforcement officials may argue that the term Gypsy refers to a wanderer and does not indicate any particular ethnic group. However, Gypsy does indeed denote an ethnic group in common parlance. Yet another definition of Gypsy as used by some is that of dishonest Romani. Here there is admission that the term relates to an ethnic group, but it is argued that Gypsy only defines those individual members who are engaged in criminal activity. According to Marlock and Dowling Gypsy refers to criminal Romani as Mafia refers to criminal Sicilians. However, the application of this comparison does not hold since Mafia has never been a synonym for Sicilian.

In a police flyer issued in Winter Park, Florida, citizens were warned "CRIME ALERT, GYPSIES HAVE RETURNED." It could just as easily have stated: "CRIME ALERT, SCAM ARTISTS AND THIEVES REPORTED IN AREA." Still another option might be to merely state: "CRIME ALERT" and then explain that there have been incidents that should serve as a warning about whatever illegal activities seem to be on the increase. There would be no need for the use of such terms as Travellers or "Gypsies." Not only would this remove that stigma that all Travellers and Gypsies are criminally intent, it would be generic enough to include people who carry out such activities but who are not associated with or members of any particular ethnic group.

There are a number of people engage in scams, thefts, and burglaries often described as "Gypsy crimes," yet these people are in no way associated with these groups. For example, not all palmists, astrologers, or fortune tellers are "Gypsies." In fact, most are not "Gypsies."

Other scams attributed to Gypsies include insurance fraud, credit card fraud, and illegal exploitation of the welfare system. By any measure, these are committed more often by non-"Gypsies." Nor are most people who use aliases to thwart the law fall into this ethnic group.

Once a mind set is developed that all members of a particular group are prone toward being criminals, all sorts of misunderstandings can result. For example, it has also been suggested that Gypsies and Travellers have the same name so as to confuse law enforcement and other social service agencies. In many ethnic groups, it is not uncommon to name a child after a parent, grandparent or some other distinguished person. To suggest that a particular group gives the same name to a number of children in order to deceive is a bit much.

The time is long overdue for setting for eliminating overgeneralizations, and for the cessation of needless harassment. There is simply no need for stigmatizing an entire group because some of its members are crooks. It is time for the media to act responsibly. It is time for law enforcement to remove law abiding people from their list of potential criminals. It is time for state and local governments to clean up their act by eliminating bigoted laws and ordinances.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: InOBU
Date: 19 Aug 00 - 06:24 PM

Snuffy, Your a pal,
I am going to add that to my repitory for my next gig. Nyees tuka, hai das Baxtalo. Branwen... and Little Black Sambo is about tigers and pancakes.
All the best to all,
Larry


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: IvanB
Date: 19 Aug 00 - 08:23 PM

Branwen, so the song is 'fun' because of the situation and not because of the ethnic slur, eh? This, then, should mean that we could take all mention of ANY ethnicity out of the song and it would all still be great fun? I think not. I'm afraid the laughter heard when songs of this ilk are sung is not the laughter of fun, but that of derision. I could go on and on, but Larry's remark about Little Black Sambo probably says it best.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: Branwen23
Date: 19 Aug 00 - 09:49 PM

Sorry, not familiar with the song to which you refer. It seems that nowadays any comment, book, song, movie, etc. can be interpreted in a way that offends someone. While I can see how something that specifically mentions a certain culture or ethnic group is more easily interpreted in that way, the fact that it mentions people from said culture in some way that is not exactly complimentary, it's not necessarily racist, either.
I can certainly see how one can become very sensitive to negative publicity regarding an ethnic group. With the great diversity of cultures with which we all come into contact, there's certainly some degree of clash, and there have been racist people forever. It seems that every culture is hated and ridiculed by someone. So it's very easy for us to become sensitized to racism.
But I honestly don't think that this particular song carries a racist message, and I'm truly sorry if that offends anyone. I would be the last person to ever intentionally convey a racist attitude against any culture.
Again, I sincerely apologize if I've offended anyone, but I'm very familiar with this song and with the reception it recieves with audiences, and I don't feel that any racist intentions or feelings are felt either by the Blarney Brothers when they perform the tune, or by the audiences that hear it.

-Branwen-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: Brendy
Date: 19 Aug 00 - 11:22 PM

"...and there have been racist people forever. It seems that every culture is hated and ridiculed by someone."
Exactly, Branwen. And songs like this just perpetuate the problem.

B.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: InOBU
Date: 20 Aug 00 - 12:05 AM

Dear Branwen:
There are levels of ignorence and racism, there is the unconcious ignorence of unconcious racism and then there is the choice to be ignorant and racist the Klan exhibits. Both are harmful though the first kind is forgiveable when the ignorant become aware.
Gypsy children can cry just like your kids. My friend Wuso's kid came home from school and cried because he was made to read Madline and the Gypsies. He was too proud to cry in school and too afraid that other kids whould know he was a "durty Gypsy who kidnapped kids" like the Roma in the book. My friend Audrey, at nine came home, because work we were doing on Roma nationalism gave her the courage to amit she was a Gypsy when their was a class on ethnicity and each kid in the class told where their families came from. The teacher asked if she was a good witch or a bad whitch. That was ignorant, but it was as hurtful as if it was done with malace.
Larry


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: Branwen23
Date: 20 Aug 00 - 10:08 AM

The story you told is awful, that kind of thing should never happen, I agree. But there is no similar language as "dirty gypsy" or any mention of anything like kidnapping children in thi song.

As I recall, there are no derogatory(sp?) adjectives at ALL in this song used to describe the characters in the story, and in response to IvanB's earlier question, yes, I think that you could take any mention of ethnicity out of the song and it would be entertaining.
Like I said previously, I can easily see how one could see the song as less than complimentary, if one is looking for it, but there is a big difference between open racism, hateful, and intended to hurt, and the kind of thing we're seeing with this song. I really believe that the tune doesn't send a message of racism or intolerance. There are irresponsible people of every ethnicity and culture, and I think that this song is about a few of them, and is certainly not representative of the entire culture.

Again, I'm really sorry, but I just don't agree with the statement that this song is racist. Maybe you've heard it performed by someone who is doing it with that feeling intentionally, and if that's so, I'm sorry, that should also never happen. We are all here together, and we should never hurt each other over something as personal as culture. But the way that I've heard this song performed was by a band I know, who are some of the nicest guys you'll ever meet, and play the song with no malicious intent at all. Most of the fun that they put into the tune has nothing to do with the song, but with their stage bits and antics that they do between verses and things that are really unrelated to the story of the song.
I can completely understand your position, I hope you can see mine. The last thing I would ever want to do is to alienate anyone here. But to say that a song carries a racist message, that also says something about anyone who performs it, and that just doesn't fit with these guys. They are my friends, and I will back them up because of that, and because they are good people, and I won't have people thinking that they're racist or intolerant of other cultures.

-Branwen-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: ol'troll
Date: 20 Aug 00 - 11:40 AM

Branwen. Just because you don't see the song as racist and just because your friends are beautiful, sensitive people, doesn't mean that it isn't hurtful to some people.

The Irish song "Moses Ri Tooral I Ay " is howlingly funny to a lot of people. But not to my wife who is Jewish. She feels that the Jewish merchant is being used as a foil to poke fun at the English policeman and hence is also a figure of ridicule.

I don't care for songs which stereotype mountain folk as shiftless,lazy and ignorant. I recall what my kin did during the depression to insure that their kids got a good education. "Hillbilly" songs set my teeth on edge and I really don't care how pure of soul the singer is.

The people of Appalacia may not have been as discriminated against as the Roma and the Jews for as many years but there are still memories in some families of how our forefathers were driven from their homes to made room for sheep and how we were treated when we came to work in the mills in the 20's. And some of us were called "Okies" and "Peckerwoods" and I could go on but I think you get the idea.

Why not re-name the song "Doesn't rent to Frat-boys". They would probably get a kick out of it.

Or have I stepped on someones toes?

troll


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: GUEST,branwen23
Date: 20 Aug 00 - 03:12 PM

I can certainly see your point. It's sometimes not apparent to someone taht a person could take offense to something we're singing, saying, or doing... I think everyone's been in a situation where maybe someone said something that they meant in jest or felt was a harmless statement to make, and it hurt nevertheless.

I think that it is impossible to never say, do, or sing anything that offends... inevitably, someone will always hear what you say and ttake it in a different context, or perhaps infer an intent that wasn't there. We can only do our best to try to be mindful of what we say and do.

Aine, I meant to say this before. I feel awful that you experinced hurt because of this song and because of my friends' performing it. Please know that they would never have intentionally done a tune that would be offensive. I know that my apology doesn't make up for anything, nor can i say that they will not play the tune anymore. It is a very popular one with audiences, and taken in the intended context, is not offensive to most people. But i am sorry that you had a bad experience at the show you attended.

-Branwen-

p.s. I'll try and get an mp3 of this tune posted at download.com sometime this week if anyone is interested in actually hearing it who hasn't already.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: Brendy
Date: 20 Aug 00 - 03:26 PM

If it was written about Welsh people, Branwen (I'm only going by your handle, here), would you find it offensive, I wonder?

B.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: Áine
Date: 20 Aug 00 - 03:32 PM

Dear Branwen,

Thank you for your kind words. As I said above, I don't believe that the Blarney Brothers are bad people. The song is the problem, and the attitudes and prejudices that it perpetuates. Perhaps if the lads knew how the travelling people view this kind of song, they'd be willing to find another 'crowd pleaser' kind of song that would be just as popular with their audiences. It would be worth a try, wouldn't it? As I also said above, they have a lot of talent in the band, and I'm sure they could find a song that would do the job.

-- Áine


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: JedMarum
Date: 20 Aug 00 - 09:49 PM

wow - I go out of town for a few days and tempest blows up in this tea cup!

Song that poke fun at ourselves, and the stereotypes people apply to us, actually help break down those prejudicial barriers. I have laughed my ass off at Irish jokes, Catholic jokes, and American jokes ... when they are offered in that 'poke fun at the stereotypes' manner. There are personal scars among the world population that will strike, as branwen points out, sensitivity among all of us on one given subject or other.

The song in question was never meant to insult, and will not be seen as offensive by most listeners. Kids watching cartoons know that when the coyote gets run over by a truck while chasing the roadrunner that it is funny because it is not for real. People hearing this song are quite capable of making that distinction for themselves, as well.

By the way, you could change the songs protagonists to students, or frat houses, or some other demographic group, and it would be very funny.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: JedMarum
Date: 20 Aug 00 - 09:54 PM

... oh, I forgot to say that I am an Irish Catholic American ...


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: Brendy
Date: 20 Aug 00 - 09:58 PM

"The song in question was never meant to insult, and will not be seen as offensive by most listeners."

Two unbelievably unsupportable statements.

What about a song called "Pete Seeger doesn't play his banjo any more"?

B.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: JedMarum
Date: 20 Aug 00 - 10:20 PM

Never heard it. How's it go?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: GUEST,branwen23
Date: 20 Aug 00 - 10:56 PM

No, Brendy, I don't think I would find it offensive if it were written about Welsh people, or Irish people (my name is actually Irish, the welsh version is Bronwen, which means something different). I think that Jed Marum made my point very well, and said things better than I've apparently been able to.

-Branwen-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: Brendy
Date: 20 Aug 00 - 11:11 PM

Yeah right!!. It's interesting to see, though, that your (plural) claim to Irish heritage stretches only as far.....as your (pl) claim to Irish heritage.

B.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: InOBU
Date: 21 Aug 00 - 07:45 AM

Jed:
Let me tell you why it is not funny. Unlike the Cyote and the Roadrunner, Roma are not carttoons. We are real life people who live in real fear. I worked in the New York State Division for Human Rights while in law school. Working against discrimination leveled at Roma, in the US and internationally I heard story after story of Roma turned out of their homes, not seated in restauraunts, run out of towns by sherriffs, photographed by FBI survalience at weddings and wakes though they had no criminal record, families put en mass out of their hotel rooms at resorts when their ethnicity was found out, and again and again I found that Roma were afraid to complain for fear that things would get worce for them, becasue they all have family memories of things that did get worse from jailing for no cause to genocide. So I had some old pals at the NYSDHR do a search. THere has never been a single complaint about housing discrimination by a Rom in New York State. The reason is not that the discrimination does not exist. The reason is that popular culture and coustom has reinforced their own belief that justice is not extended to their people. It just aint funny.
Larry


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: Áine
Date: 21 Aug 00 - 08:33 AM

A Bhrendy, a stór,

Ná bí ag troid lena daoine seo. Chuir siad a gcosa san chré agus ní fhéadfaidh tú a mbogadh. Ní lig do fhocail sa dul amú. Ní fhéadann muid gach cath a bhain agus beidh tú ag greadadh do cheann in éadan balla. Duine gan anam, duine gan cheol, 'dtuigeann tú?

Le meas, Áine


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: Brendy
Date: 21 Aug 00 - 08:42 AM

Ceart go leor, a h Áine. Tigim, go cinnte.
Gabh mo leithsceal.

B.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: JedMarum
Date: 21 Aug 00 - 08:55 AM

I haven't experienced the prejudice and hatred that OBU and Aine have described, but I don't doubt it exists. I am sorry that hatred and bigotry exist, in this world - but I cannot change the world; I can only change myself.

I am also sorry that some find the song offensive. I do not, but I respect the opinions of others who do.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: Branwen23
Date: 21 Aug 00 - 04:14 PM

i'll second that.

And by the way, Brendy, I can only interpret your post as a completely unwarranted personal attack, both on my name and on my honor. Are you implying that I have no legitimate claim to Irish heritage...? 1, how would you know?, and 2, who cares?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: MythHunter
Date: 21 Aug 00 - 06:25 PM

Wow, all this from a simple lyrics request in a group that is suposedly about music.

Thank you for the info. I am sorry to have hurt anyone's feelings.

I will not be using or reading mudcat forums again. I am much more interested in music than in being told that I am a raciest. Or in watching a rather interesting disscussion go personal just because people dissagree.

Melinda


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: DougR
Date: 21 Aug 00 - 10:44 PM

Melinda: Things have certainly gotten a bit heated here, and if you have gone away, you won't see this post. But I hope you don't go away just because there is disagreement about whether or not lyrics to a song should be posted on the Mudcat. In the United States, there is not doubt about it in my mind. The should be posted. Everyone can then make up their own mind whether or not it is a song they would like to hear or perform. I'm confident if, after reading the lyrics, Mudcatters find it offensive, they won't perform it.

Larry, as a lawyer, I think you recognize the importanance of freedom of speech in the U. S. Censorship should not be tolerated in any form.

I do not know the song, and I accept the fact that many may find it offensive. It should, however, be posted (in my opinion) so that folks can see for themselves what all the flap is.

DougR


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE TERROR TIME (Ewan MacColl)
From: CamiSu
Date: 22 Aug 00 - 12:54 AM

I must admit I'd not looked at this as the idea of "not renting to Gypsies" didn't appeal. However, daughter, Wavestar, told me I should. Those of us who have the unearned privilege of being the majority probably would do well to listen well to those of us who do not. I for one am in both categories but understand that truly I am privileged to be white and educated. I have heard of an article written years ago called the Unintentional Racism of Well-meaning Whites, which if anyone knows where it can be found, I would like to see.

I have been (astonishingly) beaten up for being the wrong color, and was so naive that someone had to tell me why. I have been ridiculed and ostracised for being friends with the "wrong people". Sorry I don't feel like changing. I really want a world where there is no prejudice, though I may not be contributing to it too well when I prejudge those who look and act like skinheads and white supremacists.

There are some really good books that poke holes in the myths that surround the travellers. Susan Cooper's "Dark is Rising" series comes to mind, and I always delight in Trina Schart Hymen's illustrations, particularly of fairy tales, where the characters are a marvelous mixture of colors and the Princess often has a lovely Rom look to her.

There is another quite haunting song that applies, also buy Ewan MacColl

The Terror Time (and sorry, I can only put in returns as the PermaThread that would have told me how to format this is gone...) Better yet, look in the DT!

THE TERROR TIME
(Ewan MacColl)

The heather will fade and the bracken will die
Streams will run cold and clear
And the small birds will be going,
And it's then you will be knowing
That the terror time is near.

Whaur will ye gan an' whaur will ye bide
Noo that the work's a' done
And the fairmer disnae need ye,
And the cooncils winnae heed ye
And the terror time is come?

The woods give no shelter and the trees they are bare
Snow is falling all around
And the children they are crying,
For the bed on which they're lying
Is frozen to the ground

When you need the warmth of your own human kind
You move near a town and then
The sight o' you's offending,
An' the police they soon are sending
An' you're on the road again.

Whaur will ye gan an' whaur will ye bide
Noo that the work's a' done
And the fairmer disnae need ye,
and the cooncils winnae heed ye
And the terror time is come?

HTML line breaks added. --JoeClone, 29-Aug-02.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: JedMarum
Date: 22 Aug 00 - 01:00 AM

Melinda - not to worry, a small disagreement. I hope you stay around the Mudcat forum. We need open minded music lovers around here, even ones who occasionally disagree. I am sure that a translation of the messages above will remove any doubt about the seemingly personal attack. If I can find the lyrics I'll post them for you, and others can make up their own minds.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: MAG (inactive)
Date: 22 Aug 00 - 01:04 AM

I think to get the full flavor, you need to hear it -- as mentioned somehwere miles above, the tune has a gypsy flavor, accompanied by stomping and whistling. It is a parody, not of bigotry, but of gypsy music. Shall we see if we can get Liza Carthy back here to see what her mother thinks of it?

Melinda, You have gotten several tips about recordings to track down. If you want to find the song, you can with info, from this discussion.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: Wolfgang
Date: 22 Aug 00 - 06:06 AM

watch out for Wolfgang, who will be there to check your spelling and syntax at every turn

Brendy,
I'd rather not have a feud with you for I guess we both like more or less the same music and I even think our view on politics might be more similar than you seem to think. But I have not the slightest idea what has triggered the second part of your statement about me.
Yes, I do correct spelling sometimes when it is, e.g., in a name of a songwriter or similar instances and I do correct what I think are wrong statements of fact (whether I like the position or not). But syntax? I doubt that you are able to back up this part of your statement with even a single example. I'd make a fool out of myself if I tried to correct others' syntax for my own English syntax is full of errors typical for a German.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: InOBU
Date: 22 Aug 00 - 07:03 AM

Dear friends:
To begin with, Malinda, if you are still about, don't be so quick to leave, for several reasons. First, being woken up to a situation wherein your actions may cause discomfort is not a personal attack. You are quite comfortable, I assume, as a member the majority community, and may not be used to the hostile environment of discrimination. We who have seen discrimination and have to deal with it develope a certain resiliance against such controversies and are not so quick to leave. Stick around and share a bit of wisdom with us, and we will all be the richer for it.
DougR, old friend, You are right, as a lawyer I am against censorship. However, most Americans forget that censorship is only wrong in the US when carried out by the government. We have a right and an obligation to be polite to each other and not create a hostile environment for minorities. In fact, though censorship per se is not allowable in the US, in a work place - if racist talk is NOT censored, the government takes action to censor that talk as a defense agaist a hostile environment. Now, here, this is not a work place, and I do not mean to give the impression that I believe we should not post racist songs. However, if we are doing so for scholarship and to understand folk culture, we should be careful how we praise those songs. For example, the song I am a good old rebel. I would say it has a great tune, but the words are distateful. I would be somewhat careful, as a matter of good taste to praise the words very highly (not much chnace of that). Good taste excersed by the people is not the censorship our government is not to wield - excuse the clumsy sentence.
Camisu, what can I say? Great song and I apreciate your comments... and MAG, magnificent comment.
Your pal as ever,
Larry


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: Wolfgang
Date: 22 Aug 00 - 07:12 AM

It's definitely not the worst idea to remind songs about travellers, gypsies,... in this thread instead of...ah, well. Here's my contribution to this theme of the thread:

Blue tar road

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: Brendy
Date: 22 Aug 00 - 07:33 AM

And one way of getting the CD that features the song that Wolfgang links to.

B.
(Don't tempt me Wolfgang)*BG*


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: Brendy
Date: 22 Aug 00 - 07:35 AM

A-hem!!!!

B.


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Subject: Add: YELLOW ON THE BROOM (Adam McNaughtan)^^^
From: Gervase
Date: 22 Aug 00 - 12:41 PM

If a song causes offence, best not to sing it. Period.
Unless, of course, it manages to piss off right-wingers, bigots and the ignorant. If so, sing it and hope you can run faster than a redneck in a bed sheet...
For all sorts of reasons, I like the song from Cabaret, "Tomorrow Belongs to Me", but there is no way I would ever sing it with an audience, because many would find it horribly offensive for all sorts of proper and understandable reasons.
There is, though, one nice song the DT giving perhaps an over-romanticised view of Traveller life, written by Adam McNaughtan:

YELLOW ON THE BROOM

Well, I ken ye dinna like it, lass, tae winter here in toun
For the scaldies they all cry us, aye, and they try to put us doun;
And it's hard to raise three bairnies in a single flea-box room,
But I'll tak' ye on the road again when the yellow's on the broom.

cho: The yellow's on the broom, when the yellow's on the broom,
Oh, I'll tak' ye on the road again when the yellow's on the broom.
(Chorus repeats the last line of each verse)

Oh, the scaldies call us tinker dirt and they sconce our bairns in school,
But who cares what a scaldy says, for scaldy's but a fool.
They never hear the yorlin's song, nor see the flax in bloom,
For they're aye cooped up in houses when the yellow's on the broom.

Nae sales for pegs and baskets now, so just to stay alive
We've had tae work at scaldy jobs frae nine o'clock till five;
But we call nae man our master, and we own the world's aroon,
And we'll bid fareweel tae Brekin, when the yellow's on the broom.

I am weary for the springtime, when we'll tak' the road aince mair,
Tae the plantin' and the pearling, aye, and the berry fields of Blair,
There we'll meet wi' all our kinfolk, frae a' the country roun',
When the gang-aboot folk tak' tae the road, and the yellow's on the broom.^^^

...and on the Roma topic, anyone here read George Borrow?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: Barbara
Date: 22 Aug 00 - 02:15 PM

However, this is a collecting place for songs, and if I had this one, I'd post it so we could see what was being discussed. Unfortunately, I don't know of any way to get the words.
I notice no one is protesting the Jewish stereotype in the song of Mrs. Stein as a rather naive knee-jerk liberal who hands over her home to a couple of strangers with no references and then goes incommunicado for 6 months.
Blessings,
Barbara


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: JedMarum
Date: 22 Aug 00 - 02:21 PM

great song, Gervase. I love this one.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: DougR
Date: 22 Aug 00 - 07:25 PM

Oh, good point Babara.

DougR


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: Brendy
Date: 22 Aug 00 - 08:38 PM

Indeed Barbara.

And you know what they say: Two wrongs don't make a right.

B.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: DougR
Date: 23 Aug 00 - 01:22 AM

Hmmm. I didn't read Barbara's message as being an advocate for that particular song, Brendy. It appears to me she is just stating a fact. es not so?

DougR


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: Brendy
Date: 23 Aug 00 - 01:27 AM

I didn't read it either way, Doug.

However, Jews and Gypsies in the one song, and both stereo-typed; could have been written by a Nazi, for all we know.

B.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: DougR
Date: 23 Aug 00 - 01:46 PM

'Tis true. DougR


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 26 Aug 00 - 06:18 PM

I am quite happy to admit to being prejudiced against anything that sounds like racism directed at people who have been persecuted and are are still being persecuted. And this song from everything I have seen about it in this thread sounds like it fits into that category.

If it turns out that I'm mistaken, and that what sounded liked racism wasn't anything of the kind, I'm quite happy to revise my opinion. And I'd be very pleased to be able to do so.

And the same goes for the other prejudice I have to admit to, which is against any band that would give itself a name like The Blarney Brothers. But that is a minor point. But anything that gives comfort to people who hold prejudice against Travellers is not a minor issue.


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Subject: Lyr Req: doesn't rent to gypsies
From: Joe Offer
Date: 15 Sep 00 - 09:04 PM

Well, I understand that the Blarney Brothers have a new CD out, and that it has "Mrs. Stein Doesn't Rent to Gypsies" on it. I certainly hope that somebody will post the lyrics to this song that has caused such controversy in this thread.
You know, I really don't think that a song should NOT be posted here, simply because it is offensive. I don't think we should have self-appointed Thought Police stomping around here, beating up on people for expressing ideas they consider offensive. Same thing goes with the "Folk Nazi" controversy. Maybe the term is considered offensive to some, and maybe it's in bad taste. That's not the point - the person who used the term meant no offense at all.

So, I expect this song to be posted, and I don't expect to see any more of this bullshit of censorship by bullying and badgering the people who dare to express ideas around here.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: MAG (inactive)
Date: 16 Sep 00 - 01:39 PM

I agree, Joe. I think the lyrics ought to be posted so we all can read them.

As one of the people who has actually heard the song, I feel free to post my opinion of it. If you go back to the top of the thread, that is what you will see.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: Terry K
Date: 17 Sep 00 - 02:15 AM

Hear hear Joe.

Why is it that certain "liberals" support the rights of criticised groups yet are vehemently against the rights of decent people to state their criticism?

You have to be very careful around here (UK) if you want to criticise "travellers" (who are usually not gypsies) even if only for their most overt fault of leaving a massive mess everywhere they go, to be cleaned up at public expense because they can't be bothered to clean up themselves. (Why do they have to make such a mess in the first place - no doubt the liberals will claim this is "part of their traditional way of life").

At the risk of alienating many Mudcat friends, I tend to be with Mrs Stein on this.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: Joe Offer
Date: 17 Sep 00 - 04:17 AM

Well, heck, I wasn't going to say any more about this, but what I was hoping is that we could see the lyrics, and then learn what it is that is offensive - so that we could avoid causing offense. I was hoping we might learn why we should NOT make prejudicial generalizations like "their most overt fault of leaving a massive mess everywhere they go."
But it looks like the whole thing is getting nastier and nastier. I had hoped that wouldn't happen.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: Roger in Sheffield
Date: 17 Sep 00 - 09:00 AM

Fascinating - ignored the thread earlier as I thought it was just going to be the lyrics to a sad stereotyping song. If the song is challenging and has a twist of '...the gypsies repair the delapidated house and in return are entertained by the wild music and dancing of the locals....' then lets hear it

Roger


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: CamiSu
Date: 17 Sep 00 - 09:35 AM

Terry--

Do you know this 'fact' about travellers from experience with all of them? Or are you reporting what 'everyone knows'? Most times the latter is not factual, and often just plain wrong! (Example, my AFSer from Norway tells me that most of the crime, and especially sexual crime, is committed by the 'foreigns' (sic). Oh. Really?) We have had, and sadly still do have those kinds of ideas floating around the US, too. We need to expose those ideas for the myths that they are so that they lose their power.

Cami Su


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: Terry K
Date: 17 Sep 00 - 01:04 PM

Cami Su - don't get into that thing of "if you don't know ALL of them you can't have an opinion".

In the small county of Hertfordshire where I live, successive groups of "travellers" have put down their temporary roots - sometimes for several years, until the local authorities have given over land especially for them - without them having necessarily made any contribution to the society that they have decided to grace with their presence. And you can take it from me that, taken as a whole, they are an absolute pain - there is only so much you can tolerate before you end up saying, enough is enough. Yes they do leave their temporary "homes" in one hell of a state. I don't care what "everybody knows" the mess that is their legacy is there for us to see throughout the year.

I know that Hertfordshire is a popular place with the travellers because they are treated better here than in other counties. In return they treat the locals extremely badly and nobody will persuade me that that is a fair way to behave, nor is it an example of a "prejudicial generalisation" - which comment, incidentally, I take as personally offensive.

So its alright for someone to say something personally offensive and directly at me, but not alright for me to have a view about something which has had a directly adverse affect on my life for the last 30 years. I see.

My input is based on fact, here, now, for real (come to Hertfordshire and I will take you less than 4 miles to demonstrate my point - reasonable people would be appalled at how they live among us).

Once again, it is a case of the world putting its head into the sand so as to cling on desperately to the romanticism attached to minority groups (I love to sing "Thirty Foot Trailer" in the shower!) - unfortunately the reality is less than romantic.

I mentioned in my previous post that one has to be careful about making criticisms - some people have just proved they will do anything except get real.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: katlaughing
Date: 17 Sep 00 - 01:12 PM

According to what one friend in the UK told me: groups that are commonly known as Travelers there, now, refers mostly to leftovers from the hippie era, who travel around to fairs and such and who do, in general, make a huge nuisance of themselves. It seems unfortunate that the label has been co-opted, so that one might not even be referring to any Roma, at all.

Generalisations and sterotypes have to be worked on at both ends, if we are to educate one another and realise we are all one race: the Human race.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: Terry K
Date: 17 Sep 00 - 01:47 PM

Kat - your friend from the UK is wrong in respect of the majority of travellers, who are typically "tinkers" or "didicoi" - nothing whatsoever to do with the hippy culture.

All things need working on from both ends, but it always seems to be the decent majority who have to make all of the running. I'd be really impressed to see the travellers make some effort to be "less unacceptable" - but I'm not holding my breath.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: Branwen23
Date: 17 Sep 00 - 02:01 PM

um.... if anyone still cares, I have the cd.... Anyone who would care to hear the song, PM me your email address and I can send it to you as an attachment.

Please specify MP3 or WAV format. If you'd prefer not to receive so large an attachment in your email, or are unable to, I can give you a link and instructions for downloading it.


-Branwen-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 17 Sep 00 - 02:01 PM

I live on the Essex Hertfordshire border, and we've got Gypsy Travellers here, some on council provided sites, some living in houses. Every now and then some are passing through, and move in on an empty patch of derelict land and camp for a few days, and you get people saying the same kind of stuff we've just been treated to. And I find that kind of talk personally offensive, just as I'd find the same kind of talk about other ethnic groups.

Most of the Gypsy Travellers I have known are people whom I'd sooner have them as neighbours than the kind of people who say that kind of stuff. And I have had them as neighbours too, and good neighbours.

And of course there are dodgy people living in caravans, just as there are in houses. And there are people living in caravans who make the same kind of offensive generalisations about housedwellers as some housedwellers do about Travellers, and that doesn't help either. And when they feel under threat, they gather in larger nuymbers for protection, and that makes them seen as invaders.

But the real people who mess up the countryside live in houses. When a group of travellers move it can look messy - especially when they've had to move on in a hurry because of harassment by housdwellers, official and unofficial. And people who are insulted and treated like vermin are often going to respond by acting in line with the way they are accused of being.

I can think of a patch of ground where some travellers got moved on, and it looked pretty messy. A few weeks later, you wouldn't know they'd been here it was the kind of m,ess that merges in and disappears. But it doesn't look like that now - housedwellers put down concrete parking places for their own cars, and big iron fences as well. It's a permanent eyesore now. Quite legally.

And the reason I worry about the kind of song that started all this is because it helps make people feel that it's all right to make those kind of offensive generalisations. And I don't want anyone under the illusion that this kind of thing doesn't matter. And that does not mean I object to the words of the song being posted here.

Here is a link to Another Spring, a song I wrote about this kind of stuff, on my website.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 17 Sep 00 - 09:48 PM

So where are the lyrics?


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Subject: Lyr Add: MRS. STEIN DON'T RENT TO GYPSIES...^^
From: Áine
Date: 17 Sep 00 - 11:06 PM

Mrs. Stein spends her winters in Miami
And she lets her home to tenants while she's gone
And last year she let her small home to some gypsies
With a discount if they'd take care of her lawn

Well, the gypsy king he swore they would be careful
They would mow her lawn and prune her roses too
Yes he swore they would be the best caretakers
Taking care as only gypsies seems to do

That rental was the ruin of her little sweet abode
For they grazed their horses on her lawn and sold her flush commode
And to keep the fireplace going, they tore out her hardwood floor
Mrs. Stein don't rent to gypsies anymore

Lie, lie lie lie lie lie lie lie lie
Lie, lie lie lie lie lie lie
Lie, lie lie lie lie lie lie lie lie lie
Mrs. Stein don't rent to gypsies anymore, hey hey

Mrs. Stein forgot that gypsies come in bunches
Like bananas on a green banana tree
They snuggle up to shelter, warmth and comfort
And last year, you know, we had an early freeze

Well, the word had gone out fast to all the gypsies
That the tribe of old King Yanosh had found a home
There were cars from Texas, made in Massachusetts
Gypsies got there from _____, and some from Rome

They were sleeping in the attic; they were sleeping on the stairs
Used the basement as a bathroom, really lent the place an air
And to keep the fireplace going, they tore out her hardwood floor
Mrs. Stein don't rent to gypsies anymore

Lie, lie lie lie lie lie lie lie lie
Lie, lie lie lie lie lie lie
Lie, lie lie lie lie lie lie lie lie lie
Mrs. Stein don't rent to gypsies anymore, hey hey

In her living room, they opened up a barre jour
And when the neighbours came to call, they ripped 'em off
With crystal ball, tarot, palmistry and tea leaves
Picking pockets of the ones that came to scoff

Well, the things they did annoyed her irate neighbours
(Musical break)
Lie, lie lie lie lie lie lie lie lie
Lie, lie lie lie lie lie lie
Lie, lie lie lie lie lie lie lie lie lie

You could hear their gypsy violins 'till dawn
For they dragged her Persian carpet to the garden
And they built this raging campfire in the lawn

There was laughing, dancing, singing, and the sound of tambourines
Some errant neighbours' husbands were discovered at the scene
And they helped to feed the campfire with what looked like hardwood floor
Mrs. Stein don't rent to gypsies anymore, hey hey

Lie, lie lie lie lie lie lie lie lie
Lie, lie lie lie lie lie lie
Lie, lie lie lie lie lie lie lie lie lie
Mrs. Stein don't rent to gypsies anymore, hey hey

Then at last one irate neighbour called Miami
(Spoken) "Hello, Mrs. Stein?"
And she told her Mrs. Stein just how things stood
(Spoken) "I hope you've got good insurance, and you're out of beer."
With the gypsy violins and raging campfire
Gotta wonder where the gypsies found the wood

And perhaps the gypsies read it in the tarot
Or perhaps the gypsies saw it in the stars
But the minute that her jet plane left Miami
They began to load her furniture in cars
(Spoken) "Get the hot tub, the ______ machine, the whips and chains -- unintelligible -- and leave the bidet right where it is)

They regarded household fixtures and their private treasure trove
Ripped up the sink and ice box, the cabinets and the stove
And as one last gypsy gesture, stole the last of hardwood floor
Mrs. Stein don't rent to gypsies anymore, hey hey

Lie, lie lie lie lie lie lie lie lie
Lie, lie lie lie lie lie lie
Lie, lie lie lie lie lie lie lie lie lie
Mrs. Stein don't rent to gypsies anymore, hey


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: Mbo
Date: 17 Sep 00 - 11:10 PM

So...all the contention over this little stinker? Instantly forgettable.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: CamiSu
Date: 17 Sep 00 - 11:24 PM

Terry,

Had you said the ones in my neighborhood did so-and-so I would have assumed you knew this from experience. It does not, however, mean all are like that any more than all white males are insensitive boors. 'Tain't so! Perhaps I should have said 'All generalisations are false, including this one.'

But as you have seen on this thread, travellers, like all people come in many flavors. To paint them all with the same brush is hurtful and unfair. This applies to a rosy-hued brush as well as a demonizing one. You will bump your nose on reality either way. But I'd much rather make the mistake to the good than the bad, and who knows? We might all be surprised when someone behaves better than even they themselves expected! (There have been studies done with teachers being told their students were either above or below average, when they weren't. In either case the teacher got what s/he expected.)

Cami Su


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: catspaw49
Date: 17 Sep 00 - 11:38 PM

The problem is Meebo, its not.

Aine, you have alwyas had my respect and my friendship for whatever its worth, but you have doubled that tonight.

What a complete piece of tripe.....and worse. Funny? just good clean fun? Just a little cute song? Read those lyrics and tell me you love it. I suppose I should applaud these guys for singing it huh? Just a little harmless poking fun at the gypsies?

I bet an airline crash cracks these guys up. Especially a big fiery one that hits a school. I'll be looking forward to their take on that.

Geeziz.........gimmee peace. Yeah, stuff like this deserves to be preserved alright. So glad we now have these warm and sensitive lyrics to enhance our understanding of what bigotry is all about. If you didn't find this little ditty offensive, maybe you were thinking of another song huh?

Sorry Aine. You are the very best my dear.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: IvanB
Date: 18 Sep 00 - 12:00 AM

Áine, I'm sorry it fell on you to have to post the lyrics. 'Spaw said it all. They managed to hit just about every traveler stereotype I can think of.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: Terry K
Date: 18 Sep 00 - 12:26 AM

The song is completely inept and utterly trite in its overstatement. If I were a gypsy, or any kind of traveller, I'd be offended.

But on a point of principle (and only that), it still means it should be ignored rather than banned.

Terry


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: Lepus Rex
Date: 18 Sep 00 - 01:51 AM

What a crappy song. Unfortunately, nomadic peoples still seem to be considered 'safe' targets for bigots. There have been several 'news' programs on, I think, NBC, over the last few years, all about how Roma, travellers, etc. are a bunch of shifty, incestuous, old-woman-robbing welfare abusers. Has anyone else seen this garbage? I'm not sure if they still churn it out. I hope not. :(

---Lepus Rex


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: The Beanster
Date: 18 Sep 00 - 02:41 AM

After reading this thread and not knowing the song, I was thinking to myself, oh, how bad could the song be? People are so overly sensitive...well. I've changed my tune. It's not funny, it's not harmless, it's mean and horrible. And spaw, I don't think the Blarney Brothers are blood-thirsty monsters (think you went a bit overboard there with the fiery airline crash thing) but they are being extremely insensitive when they sing this cruel song. Perhaps someone should point this out to them.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: CamiSu
Date: 18 Sep 00 - 08:23 AM

It IS quite awful. I would not be comfortable hearing this in public, nor even in private, and certainly wouldn't buy a CD with this on it!

Cami Su


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: SINSULL
Date: 18 Sep 00 - 08:49 AM

Screw the song. I am in shock at how many times I have seen 60 Minutes cover "gypsy scams" ranging from fortune telling theft to hungry children stealing wallets or heard our own local police attribute a crime to "The gypsies - you know that they are back in the park" and never gave it a second thought. Had they said it was the neighborhood Jews or Colombians or ANY other racial group I would have been furious enough to complain to the local precinct. Had InOBU not objected,I would probably have put this song in the same category as "Who Threw The Overalls In Mrs. Murphy's Chowder?" - silly, unkind, but harmless. Nasty business and I have been a part of it.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 18 Sep 00 - 09:00 AM

Thanx for the lyric. If anyone recalls, a request for this was the starting point of this thread. It would have made much more sense for the criticisms, attacks and vitriol (all justified) to have been held off until people got to know what was being attacked.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: sophocleese
Date: 18 Sep 00 - 09:09 AM

dick, you do speak so sensibly. Its a lousy, nasty, little song, but I needed to see the lyrics myself to understand how bad it was. Thank you Áine.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: My name Jo
Date: 18 Sep 00 - 09:12 AM

The song is trash. As I just mentioned in the other thread, I don't think that it's a coincidence that "Mrs. Stein" was given a common Jewish surname. Miami is also popular as a retirement/winter destination among the Jewish community. I think the songwriter's intent was to sow, or to create, resentment between two groups.

I would like to know the name of the songwriter. Credit please, where credit is due.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: rabbitrunning
Date: 18 Sep 00 - 09:15 AM

Thank you, Aine, (sorry, don't know how to do the diacritical mark) for actually posting the lyrics. Yes, I agree that the song is pretty offensive, but I also think that it needed to be posted to ground the discussion in something solider than suppositions.

I am with Joe on this one. We need to see the lyrics -- even the offensive ones -- in order to discuss a song fairly. I think that powerful personal narratives are important here too, but saying "I find this song offensive, and this is why," is very different from "Don't post this song because it might offend me."

Okay, I'm new. But I did bring my own soapbox!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 18 Sep 00 - 12:02 PM

Normally songs are posted by people who think they are worth singing or listening to. This time it was posted under pressure by someone who quite rightly thought it was offensive rubbish.

I hope this this isn't a precedent, and that it doesn't mean that if someone does ask for the Horst Wessell song I should feel a duty to post the words, or give a link to a Nazi site where they can be found. (I just checked that is true, with a standard search engine - and I can tell you there are even worse songs than that out there.)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: mousethief
Date: 18 Sep 00 - 01:13 PM

I don't know if I'd recognize a Roma (is there a plural of this? This is the first time I've seen the word, but if it is acceptable in place of the older "Gypsy" I'll be happy to add it to my vocabulary) if one stood next to me in line at the supermarket. Perhaps they dress differently than the housebound, but heck, this is Seattle, and dressing "differently" is hardly shocking here anymore.

But this song is really a nasty little piece of work. Thank you, Aine, for posting it, as much as it must have scalded your fingers to type it. You are a true gem, and I have nothing but respect for you. You are a credit to every bloodline that you grace.

I'm glad we've seen the words. Now we can comment on it from a position of knowledge rather than ignorance, and now that I have that knowledge, I must say: BLEH! I would NEVER sing this song, nor knowingly purchase a CD/cassette/dvd/whatever that has it on it, nor attend a Blarney Brothers concert until they swear off the thing.

Prejudice and hatred are an evil thing, as is censorship. Just my US$.02.

Alex
O..O
=o=


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: catspaw49
Date: 18 Sep 00 - 01:43 PM

Thanks for seeing and saying mousethief.......notice I didn't say Ratso.........

Censorship is pretty much abhorred across the board here. These songs often involve long and nasty argument though and I don't care if someone wants to post lyrics, but I understand also why some would not want to post them themselves. Aine IS something special.

I guess what troubled me more here was the feeling that no matter what the feelings or knowledge was of Aine, Larry, and others who DID know this ditty, we literally insisted to some degree that we "see them for ourselves." Now I understand wanting to "see them" in that context, but I also have an old fashioned sense of loyalty and trust in people, like Aine, who have proven themselved to me and at times I am willing to take the word of such a good friend and also to respect their wishes. I guess that may endorse censorship, and if it does, so be it.

For that which I believe, I am willing to fight and protest. Anyone knowing my history that has been around here awhile will attest to that. Freedom is an illusion as I'm sure you are aware from your philo background. When it comes to deciding upon loyalty and friendship versus those illusory freedoms, I opt for the former everytime.

BTW mousethief, I'm glad you're here now. Your posts are always excellent and I look toward getting to know you better. Have a nice one Ratso.........uh, mousethief.(:<))

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: DougR
Date: 18 Sep 00 - 04:24 PM

It's not a funny song. Can't imagine people finding it funny.

DougR


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: mousethief
Date: 18 Sep 00 - 04:31 PM

For some reason I keep thinking of that Neil Diamond "You Don't bring Me Flowers" song. Perhaps something along the lines of:

You don't hate Latinos
You don't call black folks "niggers"
And you don't play "Rents to Gypsies" any more....

Maybe not.

Alex
O..O
=o=


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: Barbara
Date: 18 Sep 00 - 04:46 PM

A question:
What is the difference between this song and The Night Pat Murphy Died?
Blessings,
Barbara


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 18 Sep 00 - 04:47 PM

McGrath of Harlow- If someone asks for a song, it is clearly nobody's responsibility to provide it (except maybe mine). That's not the point.

I just don't think it's appropriate behaviour to scream about how bad the song is until it's made available. This goes for the Horst Wessel song, too; it's not anyone's place to tell someone else what he wants (or should want).


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: Bert
Date: 18 Sep 00 - 04:57 PM

Well said Spaw.
Doug, I don't think it's funny either.
Barbara, nor is that song.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Sep 00 - 05:01 PM

yaeh mcgrath of hollow, ya got that? the word has come down from dick greenhaus. so get with the program.

and have respect there boy. dick greenhaus is one of the top folk nazis here.

oops, i forgot i'm not supposed to say folk nazi anymore.

dick greenhaus is one of the top mudcat nazis here.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 18 Sep 00 - 05:37 PM

"What is the difference between this song and The Night Pat Murphy Died?" - well they've got one thing in common, they're not great songs either of them.

Sung by an Irish singer in an Irish pub, it might be tolerable fun. Sung by an anti-Irish bigot, it'd be something else entirely. And there are plenty of those around.

And maybe the Barney Brothers are not consciously anti-Gypsy bigots, I definitely don't think they are Gypsies, are they? And I don't think they perform before many Gypsy audiences. Though perhaps they might like to try it some time...

And it's not entirely irrelevant that there were hundred of thousands of Gypsies killed in the death camps. And the survivors came out to a world where they have continued to be persecuted.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: bbelle
Date: 18 Sep 00 - 06:24 PM

MoH ... What you just said is: It's okay to perform a nasty, vile song, if the reviled are not in your audience.

I don't think you meant to say that.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: Branwen23
Date: 18 Sep 00 - 06:29 PM

good point, Barbara.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 18 Sep 00 - 06:42 PM

Brarbara, when I was a kid and did something wrong, I used to say "but so and so did...". My dad would reply to me "2 wrongs don't make a right".

Jon


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: Mbo
Date: 18 Sep 00 - 06:47 PM

But if you don't think twice, it's alright.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: Jed at Work
Date: 18 Sep 00 - 06:50 PM

LOL@MBO - wait a minute; this is not a humor thread. Shame on you for joking!!

;-)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: The Beanster
Date: 18 Sep 00 - 07:35 PM

Reading that Pat Murphy song, I suppose it could either be taken as black humor or as a scathing commentary. I think it would, at least partly, depend on how the singer presents it. Introduce it with a light-hearted tone and people will probably chuckle because they'll relate to the troublemakers. Introduce it in a dead-serious tone and people will probably feel sad and appalled because they'll relate to Mrs. Murphy and Pat Murphy.

The difference between the two songs seems to be that The Night Pat Murphy Died has the flavor of being written by one of the insiders--an Irish person--and if that's the case, we know that this person is chastising just those particular people who acted like idiots--not all Irish people.

With the Mrs. Stein song, it seems to come from the viewpoint of an outsider which leaves the distinct impression that the derogatory commentary is not directed at just a few "bad apples" but at the whole group. That's what makes it so vicious, in my opinion. If it were written by a Rom ABOUT Roma, even if it were about the same type of misbehavior and one specific incident, it wouldn't be offensive, I don't think. It wouldn't contain the outrageous, demeaning generalizations that make this song so hateful. Does that make sense?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: Mbo
Date: 18 Sep 00 - 07:49 PM

Let's no go overboard here. The song is not hateful, vicious, etc. It is a stupid stereotyping song. And stereotyping is rotten. I think that's how I'd describe it, offensive, rotten, and insulting. It could be worse, but either way it's stupid. There is a song similar to this that I HATE that always makes it's way into Reader's Digest songbooks, called "Nagasaki" which has insulting lyrics like "Down in Nagasaki, were the the people talk wicky-wacky, and they all check on tobaccy.." etc. It's not vicious, or heinous, but I think it promotes nasty stereotypes which RESULT in vicious and hateful and hurtful feelings toward the race, ethnic group, culture, named. As an Italian, I find "That's Amore" especially stupid and stereotypical, and I don't like to hear it. Others might think it's a classic. "Mrs.Stein..." is, on the other hand, NOT a classic, and as Holmes says in Doyle's A Study In Scarlet, "I shall do my best to forget it."

--M


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 18 Sep 00 - 08:02 PM

"What you just said is: It's okay to perform a nasty, vile song, if the reviled are not in your audience."

I think that is roughly the opposite of what I said. It's definitely the opposite of what I mean to say.

What I meant was that if anyone has a song to sing which could be seen as being nasty about the Irish, the place to sing it is in front of an Irish audience, and so forth. (There is such a thing as self-disparaging humour, and Finnegan's Wake is an example that I'm happy to sing, in the right comnpany. Pat Murphy probably isn't.)

If the Blarney Brothers sang their song in the midst of an an audience made up of Gypsies, and the audience thought it was a great laugh, I might revise my opinion of it. But I'd advise them to stop singing it until they have tried that. And I'd advise them to think long and hard before they do try that.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: The Beanster
Date: 18 Sep 00 - 08:18 PM

I disagree Mbo. I think phrases like "gypsies come in bunches like bananas on a green banana tree" IS hateful. It's dehumanizing. Stereotyping is one thing and it definitely has that, but this song goes way over that line.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: Jeri
Date: 18 Sep 00 - 10:04 PM

The difference between the two songs is the one about Gypsies is about "us vs them." (Beanster pointed that out quite well.) There's only one name of a Gypsy in the entire song, and most of it refers to just "the Gypsies." Mrs Stein doesn't rent to Gypsies. Not certain Gypsies, but ANY Gypsies. The song says, in effect, that they're all the same, and they're all bad. The one about Pat Murphy has a lot of names in it, and never once refers to an entire group of people. You could change the names to people you know, and it probably would work, although there is a bit stereotype implied, and all the names sound Irish. The Pat Murphy song at least sounds Irish, and there's a big difference between poking fun at your own and attacking people who are different.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: Terry K
Date: 19 Sep 00 - 02:59 AM

Sometimes, though, folks are led into pre-judgement (as opposed to prejudice) by their experiences.

This is so topical because when my teacher wife returned from school yesterday she announced that "Travellers" (about 8 caravans together with their lorries and trucks) had arrived and were camped on the school playing fields.

Games periods had to be cancelled and various alternative arrangements had to be made to accommodate the children who should have been playing. Contingency arrangements have been worked out with the local police until things can be restored to "normal". The travellers apparently got NO sympathy from any of the staff - even though educators generally favour the liberal end of the spectrum. (Whoops, another generalisation!).

(Incidentally anybody who wants details please PM me and I'll let you know exactly where this is).

Whatever the wider issue, I would suggest that this particular group are not their own best advocates and their actions can lead people to write kneejerk crap like the subject "song".

Though I guess there will be those of you who can justify the action!!

Cheers, Terry


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: GUEST,Brendy
Date: 19 Sep 00 - 07:48 AM

Last year an Englishman crashed into my car.

Aren't the English an awful bunch of bastards, though?

B.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: Barbara
Date: 19 Sep 00 - 10:39 AM

I asked the question about the two songs because I didn't have a strong negative reaction the first time I heard Mrs. Stein -- I didn't hear it as applying to all Roma, more like one of those frat parties that end up destroying the frat house.
Then in hearing the pain it caused Roma folk, I got thinking about some other 'funny' and offensive songs I've listened to without a particularly critical ear.
The Night Pat Murphy Died is an American Music Hall song, composed by someone to poke fun at the Irish stereotype, tho the person may have been Irish himself, I couldn't find that out.
So I asked the question because I want to hear people's thoughts on it. Blessings, Barbara


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 19 Sep 00 - 02:36 PM

You got to move fast to keep up with the times
For these days a man cannot dander
There's a bylaw to say you maun be on your way
And another to say ye can't wander

"Though I guess there will be those of you who can justify the action!!"

If I was on the road with my family I'd certainly want a place to stop, and a school playing-field might be less hostile than other places. At least school teachers don't normally have shotguns. Even so, I'd feel safer with a few other families along with me.

No, I don't feel it hard to see why you had your "invasion." There may be a few council provided sites around, but there are precious few pitches in Hertfordshire or in Essex for families who are still wanting to travel, or who haven't got where they want to get to, or who have reason to be in a particular place, such as a chance ot get some work, or a wedding or a funeral in the extended family.

And it's sad that a whole school community reacts as if it was an invasion, rather than as a chance to meet and learn from people with a different way of life, who might have something to teach. And I'm doubly sad for what all this must have taught the children. In both communities. There are some things moire important than games periods.

I can understand how this kind of thing happens. There's a vicious circle here - housedwellers feel threatened by travellers, so get hostile; travellers feel threatened, so move in larger groups; larger groups are felt as more threatening,and are more disruptive. And of course politics come into it. There are not many votes in being seen as "soft on travellers". And teachers don't make themselves popular either if that is how they are seen by parents, or by employers.

There are ways of turning this around, but it's much easier to see travellers as the problem, to be moved on, or preferably eliminated. In this country and this time that means pinning them down in one place and dispersing them and assimilating them. But in some places and times, that has meant by killing them. And that is still happening today.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: Homeless
Date: 19 Sep 00 - 03:28 PM

What a bunch of fucking hypocrites. So many people claim to be so offended by stereotypes. But these threads are OK
How to write a country song
how do I write love songs?
How To Sing the Blues
and even this is alright
Long-Haired Country Boy
but the song quoted above is unacceptable?

And don't try to explain prejudice to me - I've worn my hair long for too many years, and ridden Harleys too long, and lived in an (otherwise) all black neighborhood, and danced in skirts too many times, and spent too much time in jail, and had too many cops pull guns on me (for no reason other than I had long hair and was on a bike) for anyone to teach me anything new about prejudice.

'S why I quit coming by the 'Cat.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: CamiSu
Date: 19 Sep 00 - 11:34 PM

Sorry Homeless,

I haven't been here so long as to see those threads I guess, but my next door neighbor (who is worth the whole price of admission in my book) has long hair and rides a Harley, one of my Sunday School kids (a boy) goes to Contra dances in a skirt (and I dance with him), my friends come in most flavors, and a few have spent some time in jail.

I, like most people DO have prejudices. I am real uneasy with people who look like skinheads, so this summer a guy came by my farmer's market booth with Mr Clean on his shirt, and he could have modeled for the picture! We began to chat. He is a former Marine, a warden in the Woodstock (VT) 'Correctional Facility', and was looking at sheepskins to make Teddy Bears out of! Boy did I feel silly!

I also have an Austrian boy living in my house right now...very shy, with some Neo Nazi sympathies. I think he just might be young enough to have those loved out of him.

We all have our blindnesses, but perhaps we can learn. Barbara's comment about stuff that hurts others that we're not aware of, was so good. Here's where we get that big OUCH! and hopefully become aware.

Jen, MoH didn't say that. It was the opposite, even if it seemed muddy toward the end.

Terry, would the traveller's children be accomodated in the school? Here the schools HAVE to take migrant kids (though it is sometimes hard for the kids to keep up when they change schools so often. My husband went to school in a town where there were a lot of migrants through, and he said the kids were easy and friendly, because they were so used to it. I know there are programs as well to help these kids with the continuity problems.)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: Lepus Rex
Date: 20 Sep 00 - 12:28 AM

Yeah, Homeless, but you can cut your hair short and drive a Buick. Comparing your white-boy inconveniences to the struggles of, say, the Roma, is just cheap. When was the last long-haired biker genocide? Oh, yeah, wasn't there a hippie death-camp near Dachau? Get a friggin' life, you whiney little puke. Your troubles are nothing.

---Lepus Rex


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: Mbo
Date: 20 Sep 00 - 12:34 AM

Yo Lepus, no need to insult Homeless.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: Lepus Rex
Date: 20 Sep 00 - 12:40 AM

Mbo, I respectfully disagree. When he called pretty much everyone on this thread 'a bunch of fucking hypocrites,' I think he was pretty much asking for it, don't you? And *I* didn't swear;)

---Lepus Rex


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: Terry K
Date: 20 Sep 00 - 12:55 AM

McGrath, with all due respect, that's the biggest load of crap you've ever come out with - I normally find your posts well thought through but you seem to have a real blind spot about what paasses for reasonable behaviour as far as travellers are concerned. Of course people are judging by past experience, if they didn't they'd just be like goldfish. I happen to know that if you swim among crocodiles you're likely to get eaten - even though I never did. You seem to consider it a cardinal sin to learn from past experience where what you deem to be "the oppressed" are concerned.

And society is certainly not perfect, but if I was beaten up for having long hair I might just think it through and react accordingly.

Terry


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 20 Sep 00 - 01:01 AM

Doesn't sound like the homeless I know..."bunch of fuckin hypocrites." It's a discussion,buddy! If you think somebody's full of crap,why not just say why without the name calling?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: Lepus Rex
Date: 20 Sep 00 - 01:28 AM

I've had had long hair for most of my life. No-one has beaten me up over it, but: I have been threatened; I've been descriminated against by police, employers, and many other 'authority figures'; I've been called names like 'faggot' and 'homo,' and had bottles thrown at me out of moving cars while people called me 'faggot'and 'homo;' and I've recieved countless snubs, dismissive snorts, and disapproving looks from complete strangers.

And?

My life is still a picnic compared to, say, a Hatian immigrant, sodomized by NYC police officers. Or a German Turk, getting his head stomped flat by neo-nazis. Or a Tibetan monk, being tortured to death in a Chinese prison. My life, in comparison, is pretty goddamned easy.

I have no problem with Homeless complaining about how unfair his life is. But to compare the problems he's had because of his lifestyle to descrimination, segregation, enslavement, and murder of the Roma is, like I said before, cheap.

---Lepus Rex


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: GUEST,Fedele
Date: 20 Sep 00 - 03:42 AM

Ok, at last, we had the song. Not ironic at all. Not funny at all. Really can't make me laugh nor smile nor move any muscle in my face. Just offensive and full of spite and hatred.
I hope we can get the credits for this "song" and so we can boycott the one who had the bad "idea" of writing it ("song" and "idea" are not the proper words in this case).
Well, just think about it. You move to a city you don't know, and probably you had to move because you were driven away from the city you were before. You don't even know the language very well many of the times. You go around and nobody speaks with you; when people see you, they put a hand on their pocket. Everybody avoids you. Someone even says very unpleasant things when they pass you by. You receive some "unwelcomed guests" at night. Maybe you got beaten more than once.
Now tell me. How can you have a good feeling and a good attitude towards city folks?
Yeah, both sides must start to change their mind. But tell me this again: which of the two sides is weaker?
What side are you on? You support the weaker only when you are watching a fucking wrestling match?
Hope my little bit of English is enough to speak my mid, and hope someone shares my views.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: CamiSu
Date: 20 Sep 00 - 08:30 AM

Gee Fedele, I'd say from the tone of this discussion, that most of the people here agree with you...


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: Jeri
Date: 20 Sep 00 - 08:50 AM

Homeless, I honestly don't understand why you think those threads are offensive. I only read two of them, but sort of got the idea. "Long Haired Country Boy" was a song written by Charlie Daniels about himself, and other people identify with it. If this is prejudice, than so is every song every person ever wrote about their lifestyle. "How do I write love songs?" I REALLY don't understand that one.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 20 Sep 00 - 09:09 AM

Thanks Fidele for using your imagination, and trying to think what it might feel like for a traveller in that sort of situation, and why that kind of thing might happen.

Learning how to put yourself in the other person's shoes when a conflict arises is about the most important lesson a child can learn, and that's what I mean by saying "There are some things more important than games periods." And that goes for the children of travellers as well as the children of housedwellers. And if we didn't learn it as children, we need to learn it as adults.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: JedMarum
Date: 20 Sep 00 - 09:11 AM

Do you see any hateful stereotypes and damning generalizations in this thread thread?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: rabbitrunning
Date: 20 Sep 00 - 09:12 AM

I know the thread has crept elsewhere, but I'd like to come back to whether or not we should post lyrics. As a librarian, I spend a lot of my day answering questions, and I go through a process called "the reference interview" a lot because the question that gets asked is frequently not the question that needs answering. If you go back through this thread, you'll see that Mythhunter said the song was "haunting" her. She/he wanted the lyrics as a kind of an exorcism, and in a later post she said that she didn't think the song was a good one, just that it was one that she needed to see the words to. If someone who knew the song had posted the lyrics right away, this thread might have died right then. A person who didn't want to post them publicly could have said so why here and let us know that they were sending the words to Mythhunter via PM and again, the thread could have gone peacefully to oblivion.

InOBU's first post was made on the basis of nothing more than the title of the song, and Joe, quite properly, said that the title was insufficient information to base a discussion on, and asked for the lyrics. (I'm not denigrating InOBU's reaction; we do hit back when we think we're about to be kicked.) Joe knows, though, through a broad level of experience, that titles are deceptive. It is not unusual for a song title to seem to send one message and the song itself to send another.

In any case, at that point, Mythhunter's question was still unanswered. We had found the names of two performers who did the song, but we didn't know the words.

Think how much different this thread would have gone if we had gotten the lyrics earlier. We would have been asking "Well, how old _is_ this bit of trash?" and helping InOBU document a solid example of anti-Roma bias to use when he was working on the issue. We could have been discussing what it is about the tune or the performance that makes the song "haunt" someone for six years. We might even have been talking about the stereotype "Mrs. Stein" represents and whether or not there are earlier versions of the song where it's "Mrs. McDonald" and she leaves by train. But the discussion would have been based on the song.

Once the discussion got heated and general, posting the lyrics became MORE important, not less so. The value of the forum for people who need song lyrics lies in the answers that they get, but once a discussion is going, newcomers need a quick way to look at what's being discussed.

And McGrath, if I were interested in the Horst Wessel song, I'd settle for a blicky or what you gave us -- which search engine to use. I'd probably be looking for it for a teenager who was doing a research paper on how Hate Groups twist things to serve their own ends, but that might not come through in the question.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: The Beanster
Date: 20 Sep 00 - 09:26 AM

Homeless--Although I do appreciate you using your real name to state your opinion (unlike the spineless, anonymous posters out there), I have to agree with Lepus Rex and EJ. I don't see what connection there is between your experiences with discrimination and our stating our views about it here. Those previous threads you directed us to really have nothing to do with the subject of this thread. The songs cited in those threads are harmless, humorous observations--made via generalizations, yes, but come on. There's no comparison between poking fun at country and blues music and the persecution of entire groups of people which involves violent acts of aggression toward them, including murder. It's an insult that you compare the two.

Your lifestyle and the way you look is your choice, as Lepus Rex pointed out. You have options, distasteful as they may be to you, but you could join the mainstream if you wished and the mistreatment you suffer would stop. It's a shame that you are discriminated against but life isn't fair, is it? If I chose to tattoo my entire body and dye my hair blue, I would have to expect to take some grief over it. Maybe that's unfortunate, but that's the reality.

And uh... obviously, you haven't stopped coming by the 'Cat.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: JedMarum
Date: 20 Sep 00 - 09:39 AM

I think the "Fat Americans" thread contains just exactly the kind of negative stereotyping and hate fodder that this song is alleged to portray.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: Jed at Work
Date: 20 Sep 00 - 02:25 PM

I am not sure where to post this thought, so I'll hit both threads.

I think it is possible to have an air of hyper sensitivity to an issue. While Black racial humor, can actually be funny and appropriate and NOT hateful - there exists an air of hypersensitivity around black/white issues, and the subject of black ethnic humor is generally (and righfully) taboo. Similarly, in the mainstream Jewish ethnic humor is practiced with great care, by those who know their audiences well, for the same reason; an air of hypersensitvity exists. This same air is NOT generally there, in the part of the world where I come from, for many other ethnic groups, and responsible ethnic humor can be safely practiced among a general audience. It's OK to poke fun at stereotypes of Republicans, and Democrats, Dentists and Lawncare Specialists, Irish and Scots, teenagers and Frat Boys ... again, as long as the humor really IS meant without malice.

In the part of the world where I live, I have never had reason to suspect there existed an air of hypersensitivity around Gypsy ethnic humor. If in fact, this song is in bad taste, to my way of thinking, it is so because of that hypersensitivity. As one Mudcatter pointed out; if you want to judge the sensitivity of the song (or lack thereof) replace the word Gypsy with Black, and you will see. Agreed. But if you replace the word Gypsy with Paddy, or Frat Boys you will also see, the intent could be more silly then malicious.

We never know the secret scars our neighbors carry, from hurts and wrongs they suffered without our knowledge. It can be difficult to get through this world without inadvertently reinjuring those old hurts of our neighbor, and sometimes we never even know it. I suspect the author of this song has done such a thing - certainly when I chuckled at the song that was the case. But I don't see intentional malice in the song. It's style is much more Animal House then Horst Wessel.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: Barbara
Date: 20 Sep 00 - 04:01 PM

I spoke with my friend Peter Krug, who used to perform this song, and he said he doesn't do it since someone Roma asked him not to.
He said the song was written by Kerrville, Texas [country/cowboy?]songwriter Tim Henderson more than 20 years ago and that it was based on a news article. Peter said he believed the names were taken from the news story.
Blessings,
Barbara


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: Matt Woodbury/Mimosa
Date: 20 Sep 00 - 04:12 PM

I'm really glad this thread didn't go off into oblivion. I think it's one I needed to see.

First, about the song. I haven't heard it, but I suspect the music that goes with the words is fun. I also like the music for "Follow Me up to Carlow", but can't bring myself to sing it because I don't like glorifying war, battle, and beheadings.

I guess the offensive thing about these words has to do with the perspective. If I write a song that jokes about my own experience, laughing at myself, then my audience and I can laugh together, the subject of the joke has agreed to be the point of the humor, and I agree to the consequences of sharing my story. I might even find a way to laugh at my fear, or how I fit into stereotypes.

If I write a humorous song about how my sister is afraid to kiss me or let me play with her children, I might find a healthy way to deal with my circumstances. When someone else laughs about how they like to single me and my friends out to beat up, and the people around them laugh, I instinctively fear for my safety. It's even worse if I went there thinking I was among friends.

I can't expect that songs about violence or discrimination will be amusing to the subjects of the actions unless I'm the "victim" and can find a way to be amused.

I'm afraid that someday I'll be sorry for recording "Blood on the Saddle".


Mimosa


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 20 Sep 00 - 04:23 PM

Barbara's point is interesting...if this song is,in fact,a transposition of a factual story that the writer may have culled from a newspaper article,for example,does that change our reaction to it? If the lady in question was actually named Stein,does that counter the Antisemitic intent that some of us have ascribed to the author? If the facts of the gypsies' destruction of her property are true,is the writer wrong to use them? Or is it the treatment of the facts that we find objectionable?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: Jed at Work
Date: 20 Sep 00 - 04:33 PM

Mimosa - I liked your opening thoughts, and agree. When I poke fun at myself in a song, I let people know it's OK to laugh at those things.

I am not sure I understand your point about your sister and being singled out, and Blood on the Saddle is there more to that then meets the eye (I can be so thick sometimes)? I always thought that was simply relating a story about an accicdent. No? By the way; you did a great job with the song, and it's a surprise for your audience, because it's not the type of song they thought they'd hear from you!

{Thread creep here}I hope you'll make the YOBB jam tonight. Neither Guinneschik or I will be there, and Wesley's gunna miss too. We need someone to keep Branwen out of trouble!!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: Branwen23
Date: 20 Sep 00 - 04:47 PM

hey!

I resent that.

*grin*


-Branwen-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: Jed at Work
Date: 20 Sep 00 - 04:54 PM

OK - Mimosa, I guess it's not possible to keep Branwen outta trouble!!

;-)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: Matt Woodbury/Mimosa
Date: 20 Sep 00 - 05:17 PM

re "Blood on the Saddle", usually people chuckle when they hear it. I worked at a ranch the last couple of summers, and knew a woman there whose son was killed in a rodeo accident. I always thought it was dicey to sing a song people found funny about something so tragic when I thought someone I cared about might be hurt by it. I never asked her for her opinion, though.

I'll respond to the YOBB stuff on the other thread.

Mimosa


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: Art Thieme
Date: 20 Sep 00 - 05:26 PM

At the old GATE OF HORN in Chicago, a folk nightclub, I heard Lenny Bruce say about the movement to keep sex education out of the schools in the USA:

"A knowledge of syphillis is NOT a direct order to go out and contract it !"

I might paraphrase Lenny by saying: Viewing the lyric of this song will never have any effect other than to reinforce my heartfelt belief that tolerance and inclusion is much more desirable than intolerance and exclusion. And I'd never sing it for my kids.

I'll probably never read it again. But it SHOULD BE SAVED AND ARCHIVED if only so point out how NOT look at things. That's why the low points of history should be remembered---and thought about often.

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: DougR
Date: 20 Sep 00 - 06:05 PM

Oh, no, Mimosa! Don't stop singing "Blood on the Saddle!" That's an old cowboy classic.

I understand your reluctance to sing it knowing someone in the audience has had a son, daughter, husband or lover killed at a rodeo, but one must draw the line somewhere.

If one is going to be that sensitive, Roy Acuff's old, "Hillbilly" classic, "Wreck on the Highway," probably should never be performed to an audience.

DougR


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: Terry K
Date: 20 Sep 00 - 06:10 PM

GUEST Fedele - your emotive little hypothesis pre-supposes decent behaviour on the part of the narrator. If the narrator had behaved decently and been treated like that, he would have cause to complain. But that would not even be close to the reality we have experienced locally.

The sequel to the encampment of "travellers" on the school playing fields where my wife teaches was completed today. In England, it is illegal by a long-term Act for ANYONE (regardless of how oppressed they feel) to trespass on, or otherwise appropriate school premises. In the best interests of our children, I think this is absolutely good sense. The travellers were given a deadline of noon today and the police attended to ensure their peaceful departure.

They left various objects on site.

1) A car. It turned out to have been a stolen car. No, I don't think it was stolen by the headmaster or one of his staff. I could be wrong, but common sense prevents me from thinking so.

2) Empty gas bottles. The lord knows why, as I believe these things have a value.

3) Their debris. I hate to say it, but this is not unusual. Nor can the expectancy that this will happen in our locality in any way be considered a "prejudice" or a "sweeping generalisation".

4) Deep tyre-tracks over the sports field (we have had heavy rainfall) - a small point perhaps, but someone has to do the repair work so the school can get back to normal.

The environmental health department of the Local Authority were called in to clean up the site, particularly the area behind school buildings which had been used as an open air toilet.

So some of you people believe that our kids can learn from this particular group? If so, you are either not parents or are a very strange kind of parent.

So some of you people think that the decent and fairly silent majority who don't really condone this sort of behaviour are hateful bigots and oppressors?

All of the costs of coping with the above little episode come from taxes which are meant to be spent on health, education, our children and our old people. This event happened in what may be considered a fairly underpriveleged area. These particular travellers do not have fixed addresses, hence do not pay the Council Tax which provides these things. I am sure there are travellers who have jobs and/or businesses where all income is declared for tax purposes; I am equally sure there are those who do not.

They are taking the piss. And the sooner the woolly minded thinkers in our midst start to get real, the better.

Terry

(all of this is documented locally; if you want to know exactly where it was, PM me)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: Terry K
Date: 20 Sep 00 - 06:28 PM

and I hate to harp on about it, but I just discovered a quote in another thread which I think is totally appropriate to mention here

"...But the principle that all of us should be responsible for the cost of clearing up the mess we make -that seems pretty basic to me.".

Thank you so much for your support Kevin McGrath of Harlow - I knew I would get you to agree at last!!!

Cheers, Terry


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 20 Sep 00 - 09:59 PM

Intersting questions LEJ. The song could even have been written to poke fun at Mrs Stein rather than to insult the Roma...

Jon

(pondering the implications)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: The Beanster
Date: 20 Sep 00 - 10:06 PM

Terry K,

Now don't jump down my throat but look at this in another way. You're right that the travellers you encountered at the school had no right to trespass/camp on private property and leave a mess behind, including gouging out tire tracks in the grass. I don't think anyone would condone their actions and you have every right to feel outraged. But if you start letting yourself, because of your anger (justified, as it is), paint an entire group with the same brush, you run the risk of getting angrier and bitter and intolerant toward people who may not deserve your wrath.

Two years ago, I was robbed on the street in Brooklyn. I am white, he was black. Of course he was wrong in what he did and I don't care what excuses he may or may not have about his dysfunctional childhood, minority status or current financial situation. The guy was a scumball. But he was a scumball because he committed a crime and not because he's black. I know you get my point, so I won't beat you to death with it.

I'm just saying, the travellers you see (and I don't know if you mean Gypsies or not, but it doesn't even matter), the ones who disrupt communities, trash the land and misbehave are the ones at whom your anger should be directed. The ones you DON'T see are the ones who don't take part in antisocial behavior and these folks shouldn't be judged along with the bad apples.

Would love to hear your comments if you'd care to.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: rabbitrunning
Date: 21 Sep 00 - 12:51 AM

Barbara,

The possible tie to an actual event fascinates me. If your friend is willing to think a bit, could you narrow the possible dates a little? It can't be that hard (in this lovely internet age!) to find an archive that might have the Kerrville paper.

Thanks.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: Terry K
Date: 21 Sep 00 - 01:21 AM

Beanster, I agree wholeheartedly.

I have explained earlier in the thread that my points are made regarding my personal experiences of the "travellers" who visit my local area. These people are not gypsies, but are what we would "categorise" (if I'm allowed to!!) as tinkers. And before some other touchy person jumps down my throat, no, I am not saying that "all tinkers are like that". But many are like that and I stand by my criticisms of those who are. And of course I am happy to support anybody who behaves acceptably, no matter who they are.

I would have thought it fairly obvious that one's comments are made from personal experience of particular situations. And I would have thought it equally obvious that in mentioning these experiences, of course I am not saying that anyone who lives in a caravan is by necessity a bad person.

It's just that with 30 years experience of the type of behaviour mentioned above, it rather pisses me off to hear the sweeping generalisations of support for people who behave that way expressed in this thread.

It seems that some people will support the so-called "oppressed" simply because they claim to be "oppressed", regardless of the issues. Prejudice in favour of something is still prejudice, particularly to those who are not in favour.

But it is useful to be able to air these thoughts, if only to try to remove some of the romantic notions of those who have not had similar experiences.

Cheers, Terry


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: Barbara
Date: 21 Sep 00 - 01:24 AM

My friend's not on-line, rr, and I put too much time this morning looking, but I'm not sure if the setting is in Texas. (I have this recollection that when he introduced it before, 10 or so years ago, he said it happened in LA) I also spent a while trying to find Tim Henderson, who Peter thought had a web page. Someone else who's got more time or is a better searcher than I (not hard to be that) is welcome to give it a shot.
Branwen, or any of you other Texans, you know anything about Tim Henderson?
Blessings,
Barbara


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: CamiSu
Date: 21 Sep 00 - 09:01 AM

Terry

This is so hard. You say there is a 30 year history with this particular group of people. Is it all skirmishes like this or has there been any negotiation? It seems you are in a vicious circle, they feel unwelcome and so trash the place and make no effort to engender your well wishes, so you dislike them and drive them away, so they dislike you and don't care about your property so... you get the idea. The trouble is someone has to break the cycle! And the only person you have control over is yourself. If we all wait for the other guy to make the first move we will remain in the same trouble.

Believe me I know how hard this is. I have a neighbor who has a light he put up on purpose to shine in our bedroom, after we'd solved the problem he had with our dog. He has not changed the light back, and I'm really shy about asking he do so, finding it easier to do nothing but resent him. And this is a really small issue compared to what you have...

Good luck!

CamiSu


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: Jeri
Date: 21 Sep 00 - 09:49 AM

I met someone from South Africa back in 1981 when aparthied was still going strong. She told me that black people she'd seen acted like bullies, and were rude, loudmouthed and coarse. She asked me if they acted that way in the US. I told her some did, most didn't, but if I were made to feel like mainstream society would be happier if I'd just disappear, I'd probably act that way too. I think there was and is a lot more going on than that, but I think it's true that if a society forces a group to remain apart, it's bound to turn into an "us vs. them" situation.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 21 Sep 00 - 05:36 PM

Blood on the saddle - it's strange the way some songs that in themselves are not funny at all, and are about something real and tragic get turned into joke songs. The same with The Titanic. There are planty of genuinely funny songs to sing. I think we ought to try to sing songs like that with respect - but it's bloody hard, what with the way people tend to join in in a mechanical singalong way.

Lack of the ability to use imagination about other people's troubles isn't restricted to people responding to "tinkers" stopping in the wrong place.

But surely nobody could sing Wreck on the Highway in a jokey way? And done straight, it might well upset people, but it shouldn't offend them.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: Branwen23
Date: 21 Sep 00 - 06:31 PM

Barbara-

Sorry, I don't know anything specific of Tim Henderson...

I do know that the guys credited him for the tune on the cd...
Maybe they know something about his whereabouts...

I'll see what I can find out, but I probably won't talk to them for at least a few days...


-Branwen-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: The Beanster
Date: 22 Sep 00 - 01:20 AM

Thank you, Terry, for your response. You and I are on the same page. I was glad to hear (read) your explanation and I guess I did make the assumption that you objected to the defense of people who are outside the mainstream, in general. I think I felt your anger in the initial posts so much, that I didn't know if you were seeing the forest for the trees. But it seems that you do have perspective, despite your 30 years of bad experiences. Fair play to you. And I hope something can be done to improve what sounds like a tremendously difficult situation.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: InOBU
Date: 22 Sep 00 - 06:14 AM

Well, Well, Well,
A month in Wiltshire and this is still going strong! Joe Offer, my old friend, as you see, my request for good taste, rather than censorship, (taste is when no one posts - censorship is where you - the government here - removes the lyrics) set the really racist and bad taste lyrics in the context of a really good discussion which I belive got folks and folkies thinking about their steriotypes about my folks. I really appreciate even the remarks like, Gypsies make a mess so the song is right - to paraphrase a few comments, now late at night, and me trying to be brief. Happy to be back and see that we are still struggling to understand these songs we sing,
Back from the road
Lor (InOBU)


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Subject: Lyr Add: THIS TOWN IS NOT THEIR OWN
From: Beezer725
Date: 14 Apr 11 - 08:41 PM

There are a lot of posts on the matter, needless to say, I didn't read all of them word for word. I was interested in knowing who all recorded "This Town is Not Their [or Your] Own?" I have one on cassett that has a different fourth verse from all the ones I've come across so far. Here is my version:

THIS TOWN IS NOT THEIR OWN

In a cloud of dust they rode,
Covered wagons down a lonely road.
Happy people laugh and sing
And hear the bell of freedom ring a while,
And the countryside's their own.

Now the town is drawing near;
Parents eyes begin to shift in fear.
While their children still play on
Not knowing they can never settle down
Because this town is not their own.

'Round the camp, the fires are hot;
Hungry children gather 'round the pot.
But some will go to bed tonight
Without a bite of food, or heat, or light
Because this town is not their own.

When they protest the fights begin.                        
"Do you think you are fit human beings?        
You don't pay a penny tax        
Yet you dare to come and ask can you come in,
Aye, and make this town your own."                                
                                                                
So once more they're on the run
Out to face the cruel wind and sun.
Land of saints and scholars, we
Have lost the precious gift of charity
And we don't recognise our own.


I do not know who's arrangment this is; I do not recognise the voice on the recording, although I know it is over 20 years old.

Also, if anyone is interested, regarding the "Moving On Song" - Dick Gaughan did a wonderful redition of it.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Mrs Stein Don't Rent to Gypsies Any More
From: Charley Noble
Date: 15 Apr 11 - 09:01 AM

I've just reviewed this whole thread and certainly the discussion covered the whole range of what shouldn't or should be sung or even posted. But, finally, the lyrics to the song in question were actually posted.

This song definitely was composed as a "humorous song," to amuse some at the expense of others. But it's not what I would consider a humorous song for a general audience. It's also not what I consider "gallows humor" which is more like "Blood in the Saddle" or even "Wreck on the Highway" in the way my gang used to sing it as "immortals" at college as we cruised back from a late night concert or party.

A lot of the housing or tenant songs that I collect are also "gallows humor" in that the situations described by housing organizers are often desperate, and sometimes absurdly desperate. Usually the landlord is the villain rather than the tenant, which provides political focus to the songs, the "downtrodden" ridiculing their "oppressor." That doesn't necessarily make for a good song, nor even a fair song, but it is understandable in its context. Some of the old IWW songs fall into the same category such as the parody of the scab "Casey Jones."

Substituting other groups (such as students or yuppies) for "gypsies" in this song is an interesting exercise. However, I still find it mean-spirited. Substituting other ethnic groups for the homeowner "Mrs. Stein" is also an interesting exercise; she's most likely introduced as representing a particular stereotype as well and we're supposed to laugh at her plight. One could also argue that this is a historical ballad based on a newspaper story but no one has tracked down that story; it's true that news stories can be more bizarre than the most absurd composed song.

So I'm wondering what the original poster of this thread has done with this song now that he's finally harvested the lyrics. Does he sing it at concerts, and what is the reaction? Or is it filed away as another novelty song to present at an occasional song party or session?

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Mrs Stein Don't Rent to Gypsies Any More
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Dec 16 - 01:27 AM

Mrs stein don't rent to gypsies anymore is by the late great Austin tx songwriter Tim Henderson.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Mrs Stein Don't Rent to Gypsies Any More
From: Jack Campin
Date: 02 Dec 16 - 12:23 PM

It appears that by "late great" you mean "disgusting pig-ignorant bigoted lump of shit". (From the CV in his obituary he appears to have been something small-time in the CIA).

BTW I don't know what this comment from InOBU meant:

Little Black Sambo is about tigers and pancakes.

The original Anglo-Indian book (with Bannerman's own illustrations) is in no way racist and that comment fits it literally. The American adaptation of it is white supremacist filth. There are TWO DIFFERENT BOOKS involved, and virtually nobody on either side of the Atlantic will ever have seen the version known on the other. (I've seen many copies of Bannerman's original but only know the American one via scans on the web).


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Mrs Stein Don't Rent to Gypsies Any More
From: GUEST,keberoxu
Date: 02 Dec 16 - 12:51 PM

There is a short biography of Tim Henderson at the webpages for the Texas State Historical Association. It makes no mention of Mrs. Stein, nor of the people she won't rent to, although it goes down a list of other song titles written by Henderson.

The biography says that Henderson started out life in the Appalachians of West Virginia, before life took him to Austin, Texas.

Austin, Texas is also the location of the University of Texas -- Austin, where a Ph.D. professor named Ian Hancock (born in England) is a long-time, dedicated advocate for the Roma. You ought to hear HIM waxing wroth about this song!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Mrs Stein Don't Rent to Gypsies Any More
From: Mo the caller
Date: 02 Dec 16 - 01:38 PM

"
Little Black Sambo is about tigers and pancakes.
The original Anglo-Indian book (with Bannerman's own illustrations) is in no way racist and that comment fits it literally."

Except that it is about 'funny people who aren't like us, and do odd things.'


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Mudcat time: 23 July 4:39 AM EDT

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